HAMPSHIRE'S ambulance service has lifted the suspension on a private firm which it uses after the company was rated 'inadequate' by health watchdogs.

Last month South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) said it will not use Fareham-based SSG UK Specialist Ambulance Service until faults highlighted in a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are resolved.

But today (December 15) it has been announced that SCAS has lifted the suspension and services are now back to normal.

In a statement SSG UK said: “We are pleased to confirm that South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust have lifted the suspensions of our services which are now back to normal.

“Since the services were suspended on November 29 following the decision by the Care Quality Commission to place our ambulance station in Fareham, Hampshire, into special measures, we have had constructive discussions with executives of both trusts who are now satisfied with the actions we have taken to rectify issues of concern.

“We are continuing to work closely with the CQC and are committed to restoring regulators’ full confidence in Fareham station and our company.”

A team from the CQC visited SSG's Wickham Road base in August and September in response to concerns received relating to medicines, staffing, overall management of the service and an ambulance being involved in a road traffic collision.

At the time CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals, Dr Nigel Acheson, said: "We were extremely concerned at the disconnect we identified between the senior team and the staff working on the frontline.

"We saw no sign of a clear vision and strategy and a lack of response to the concerns we had previously raised.

“On the basis of this inspection, we have placed this provider into special measures."