Vetting Medical Providers for Film & TV Productions – An overview
In the 22 years that Location Medical Services has been providing services to the Film & TV production industries we have made it our policy to trade on our strengths (experience, reliability and high clinical standards) and not on the weaknesses of others.
Over the years we have seen dozens of “medics” and medical companies come and go in the industry - some through “natural causes” and others through eventual exposure as dangerous, fraudulent or completely deluded individuals or organisations.
The UK film & TV production industry is, undoubtedly, one of the best, and safest, in the world – but the fact that very significant amounts of work are awarded to medical staff and companies every day by production staff with no specialist knowledge or understanding of what they are actually buying - has made our industry an unnaturally sheltered habitat for individuals and companies who wouldn’t survive days in any other sector where basic checks and measures would expose them as under skilled, under equipped and, in some cases, completely fraudulent.
“Caveat Emporium” for productions hiring medics should be translated as:
1) Don’t be afraid to ask for staff qualifications and, if you don’t know what they are ask someone that does – don’t fall for porkies. Paramedics and nurses can be easily checked online using their registration numbers. This doesn’t mean that they are the only staff to use by any means – but it makes checks easier. You can check registration by clicking on the logos opposite.
2) Check that the qualifications you’ve been shown or have checked online actually match the medics you have on set. This is important – you’d be amazed how much “mistaken identity” there is! Nurse, Doctor & Paramedic are protected titles with legal protection, it is a criminal offence to impersonate any of these roles.
3) Ask for proof of medical malpractice insurance. Then check directly with the insurers that the insurance exists, is paid up and specifically covers film & TV work – especially if you are being sold “extra” or “advanced services” that are actually very difficult to insure & very dangerous if uninsured.
4) Don’t just employ people because they worked on other productions assuming they did they proper checks – they probably didn’t.
5) Everyone loves a bargain – but you need to know that you are actually getting what you are paying for – otherwise it’s not a bargain at all (and could be a very expensive mistake)!
6) If you are contracting ambulance services (we would argue any professional medical services – but let’s stick to the absolute basic facts) make sure your provider is CQC registered, don’t fall for excuses.
For more information see our guide to why Ambulance Services & the Care Quality Commission