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29 January 2014, 10:40
A report from the Care Quality Commission following a surprise inspection says the service has made improvements.
The unannounced inspection in December found that the Trust met the criteria set out by the Care Quality Commission in five out of seven areas.
The two areas highlighted by the inspection as in need of improvement were care and welfare of people using services and staffing but the report found that measures were being taken by the Trust staff to address these key issues.
The report also said that since the last inspection, the waits for ambulances for people in potentially life-threatening instances were decreasing, that there were fewer complaints and serious incidents and a drop in staff sickness levels.
Since the inspection the Trust has appointed Dr Anthony Marsh, one of the most experienced ambulance chief executives in the country, who said that whilst the report acknowledges progress over the last year, there is more to be done to ensure the Trust once again becomes a top performing organisation. Dr Marsh said:
“This is an important report as it acknowledges the improvements that have already been made. It highlights the need to reduce long response times and ambulance back up delays to patients. This is why we have started recruiting 400 student paramedics and I am delighted that we have had in excess of 1,000 applications in the first week. This is one of our immediate priorities and will form part of the Board’s wider strategy to progress services and tackle resourcing issues.
“In addition, we will be looking to recruit more graduate paramedics and provide additional training for existing staff. This, along with other actions we have put in place such as our Hospital Liaison Ambulance Officer schemes to help speed up patient handovers at hospitals, will improve patient care, reduce ambulance delays and be beneficial for staff.
“I welcome this report as it shows everyone where we are; the improvements we have made and confirms that the changes we are making will tackle the other areas that need improvement, although this will take time.
“Although I have only been with the Trust for under a month I can clearly see the determination of everyone throughout the service, from the Board to the front line, to succeed and provide the type of service that we all want to see.”