Express & Star

Demise of private ambulance firm with Cannock headquarters sees 150 jobs lost

More than 150 jobs have been lost following the administration of a private ambulance firm which had its headquarters in Cannock.

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Rapid Response Medical

Rapid Response Medical Services had administrators appointed on December 5 and the same day was sold in a pre-pack deal for £250,000 to Medicare EMS Group in Chelmsford.

The company, which employed more than 250, had been formed in October 2017 and provided ambulance services for two NHS trusts in the South and East of England.

The sale saw 100 staff transferred. The others, including head office staff and apprentices, lost their jobs.

Rapid Response, run by directors Mitchell Johnson and John Daines, had its headquarters at The Graduation Centre, Progress Drive, where it also had a training academy.

It had eight operational sites with the latest at Fareham, Hampshire, having opened in September

The rapidly-expanding firm was lossmaking and had debts of £3.8 million when it entered administration. It also faced a claim for more than £1m in pay and holiday pay for staff.

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust and South Centre Ambulance Servioce NHS Trust have awarded the contracts that were held by Rapid Response to Medicare.

Rapid Response had made a loss of more than £1.7m in the year before administration.

Kroll Advisory, of Birmingham, which handled the administration had originally been brought in in November last year to review its cash flow and look at marketing the business.

A former member of staff at Rapid Response in Cannock, who did not wish to be named, said that many of those who had lost their jobs were from the Cannock area.

The headquarters is now empty and signs have been removed.

"Some really genuine people have lost out from the failure of Rapid Response. Many have lost their jobs and a lot of businesses who provided them with services, including construction, are still owed money," added the former employee.