Employment FAQ's

If you are interested in joining our team, here are the answers to our prospective employees’ most commonly asked questions.

Which base will I work from?

Our main base is in Ripe, East Sussex, nr Lewes. We also have two other locations, Selbourne nr Alton in Hampshire and Ockley, nr Dorking in Surrey. These are not well served by public transport so you need a car to get to your nearest base.

How do Zero Hours contracts work and will I get the hours I need?

We currently offer a zero hours contract for non-emergency patient transfers, private transfers, events and repatriations. Most crew obtain the number of hours they wish, particularly if they are flexible. However, there are occasionally short periods when the work available varies. Our Patient Transport shifts are normally 10 hours and some are 12 hours, so you might choose to work only 3 or 4 shifts. Private jobs and events are much more variable but generally shorter. You simply give us availability each week. We typically do 50 shifts per week with 2 crew on each shift plus private and events.

You mention that you have some fixed term contracts. What does that mean and how do I get one?

When we have certainty of shifts over a period we can offer fixed term contracts. Some of our regular staff actually prefer the flexibility of a zero hours contract.

What type of work do you do and how long are the shifts?

All our ambulances have 2 crew and are fitted out to take a stretcher, a wheelchair and a few sitting passengers.

As indicated above Non emergency Patient transport is the bulk of our business. These are regular shifts where you collect patients from home, nursing home or hospital and transfer them safely to their next location. Many of our patients require stretchers or wheelchairs and sometimes family members travel with them. All our Patient Transport is regulated by the Care Quality Commission so we have very strict procedures to follow to protect you and our patients. We also operate ISO 9002, a separate quality standard.

Private jobs vary from transferring a relative from a care home inTunbridge Wells to Leeds to shorter trips for appointments locally or in London. Long trips are always planned in advance and we understand some crew are not able to do these because of their own commitments.

Events are often at weekends. Eg a 10k run, a festival, a school event or a concert. They vary in length. Sometimes we supply more crew to one event, eg a paramedic and 6 first aiders.

Do I need previous experience?

No. We provide 5 days paid training plus a ‘shadow’ shift before you are allowed to work with patients. Newer staff work alongside experienced staff. You will also receive ongoing training and coaching. Our training modules cover topics such as First Aid at Work, Mental Health Capacity, Infection Control, Safeguarding Adults, Safeguarding Children, Moving and Handling, Dementia and Duty of Candour. All our courses are accredited. So this is a great opportunity to add to your skills?

What do I do about holidays. Are they paid?

Like any other job you build up holiday entitlement, but based on the hours you have worked.

Do I have to work weekends?

We do like you to be able to give us at least one weekend per month, but it is not essential. Some staff are only able to do weekends, so it varies.

What driving experience do I need?

You need to be over 21 (an insurance requirement), have held a full UK Driving licence for 2 years with no more than 3 points. You do not need to have experience driving an ambulance. Our vehicles are not ‘Blue Light’ ambulances because we carry out Non Emergency activities.

What other skills do I need?

We think you need to be organised, reliable, diplomatic, sensitive and caring but ‘firm’ if you need to be. Going to hospital may be a worry for some patients so you need to be able to put them at ease and make the journey as pleasant as possible. We get fabulous testimonials from patients who really appreciate what we do.

If I have other questions what do I do?

Ambulance Driver image of Ambulance care image of ambulance in action image of

Head Office

Southern Ambulance Services - Trading Name of Elite Medical and Ambulance services Ltd.

Unit 51

The Granary Business Centre

Broad Farm


East Sussex

BN27 4DU

United Kingdom

+44 (0)1323 811 907

0845 600 2055