Vehicle daily inspections – some of your FAQs answered

Side of RRV with lozenge

Q: Why has the VDI checklist and protected period been introduced?

A: The VDI is an essential element of ensuring a vehicle is safe to respond and is carrying the correct equipment to treat patients. A number of elements are legal requirements and learning from Serious Incidents. The Trust process is also being reviewed by the Health and Safety Executive. 


Q: What if I am allocated to a call by mistake in the first 15 minutes?

A: Contact EOC immediately. This is a new process and as such needs time to embed, we would therefore appreciate a positive dialogue between crews and EOC if this occurs. EOC should then allocate to the nearest available appropriate resource. 

Q: What if an oncoming shift decides to respond to a call before shift start (i.e. for a crew about to finish to avoid them being late off)?

A: The call must be responded to without delay by either the crew currently on shift or the oncoming crew may decide to assist their colleagues and respond for them, if this is before shift start it is assumed the vehicle has already had a VDI during that shift. The mandatory VDI checks should be completed by the new crew as soon as possible once clear from that call.  

Q: Does this apply to RRVs?

A: Yes. The same time period applies and the RRV version of the sheet should be used. 

Q: What happens if my vehicle is not back on station at shift start?

A: Book on duty as normal via the MDT immediately the vehicle has returned and commence the VDI. 

Q: Where should the shift inspection sheets be stored?

A: Please check with your local management team for the specific location on each site. 


Q: What should I do if the nearest vehicle is in the 15 minute VDI period?

A: Allocate the nearest available resource (i.e. not in their 15 minute period) in line with the relevant procedures (for example Resource Allocation and Cross Border) and carry out a General Broadcast if appropriate. If the call is a Red 1 or predicted Red 1 then allocate the call in line even if the crew is in the 15 minute VDI period. 

Q: I am worried about patients waiting due to this process, particularly those with life threatening conditions coded as Red 2.

A: Any concerns should be escalated within EOC to the DEO or Clinical Coordinator who will review the resource position. This new process will also be monitored for impact. 

Q: If there is a delay to a patient, how should we record this?

A: If this is directly and only attributable to the VDI period, enter this as a reason in the Missed Incident Compliance Report (a new reason of “VDI” has been created). A key word “#VDIDELAY#” can also be entered in CAD remarks. 

Q: If we allocate a Red 1 (predicted or confirmed) call to a crew in the first 15 minutes, what is the process for completing the VDI?

A: If a crew is allocated a confirmed Red 1 call within the first 15 minutes and the VDI is not complete, they should book clear on completion of that call and then complete the mandatory VDI checks. Crews will be sent to a suitable location to complete their mandatory VDI checks.

If the crew is allocated a predicted Red 1 call within the first 15 minutes and the VDI is not complete, and the call is then subsequently re-graded to a lower acuity call they will be sent to a suitable location to complete their mandatory VDI checks.

Crews will only be further disturbed for any subsequent Red 1 or predicted Red 1 calls. 

Q: What should I do if a crew reports there is an issue with the VDI and they cannot respond?

A: Confirm they have contacted their nearest DLO and book the crew out of service with a vehicle defect. 

Q: What happens if the call changes to a lower priority after being allocated as a Predicted Red 1 in the first 15 minutes?

A: The crew can then request to be stood down; this request should be actioned by dispatch and the nearest next available resource assigned. The mandatory VDI checks should be completed at the nearest suitable location. 

Q: What happens to requests for HOT1 back-up?

A: Crews will not be dispatched to HOT1 back-up requests until they have completed the mandatory VDI checks.

Published 19th February 2015 

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