East: New Ambulance Service Criticism

The East of England Ambulance service is again being criticised for response times by a Government watchdog after a new inspection.

The Care Quality Commission say that since their last inspection the trust's performance in response times had 'deteriorated' and people could not be assured they would receive care in a 'timely and effective manner.' 

The inspection went on to say managers were unable to give sufficient explanation as to why performance had fallen. 

The CQC's unannounced inspection focused on five areas: 

  • Care and welfare of people using the service 
  • Safeguarding people from abuse 
  • Cleanliness and infection control 
  • Management of medicines 
  • Supporting workers 

The CQC found the Trust met the required standard in four out of five areas but said action was is needed in the care and welfare of people using services, especially over response times. 

Andrew Morgan, interim Chief Executive of the Trust said: "I recognise that our performance and response times are simply not good enough. 

That is why we are recruiting more front line staff and seeking to put more ambulances out on the road, whilst also seeking to reduce the delays we experience in handing over patients at hospitals. 

We are also carrying out a clinical capacity review to better understand what resources are required to meet patient demand. 

This is alongside implementing an organisational strategy to better empower, engage and involve staff; together with learning from the good practice of other ambulance services from around the country. 

Whilst we are funded to hit a regional target, performance in more rural areas also needs to improve and we are currently in talks with our commissioners to address this issue. 

To make our service more open and transparent, in February we started publishing our performance on a monthly basis by primary care trust area so the public can see how we are doing locally. 

We will report at local Clinical Commissioning Group level from April 2013 when these new organisations come into being. 

Our staff work hard day and night to provide the best possible care for patients, as reflected in some very positive feedback from the CQC in this report; I believe that we can harness the passion of our staff with the plans we have put in place and we will start showing steady improvements over the coming months."

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