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CQC Inspection Report


Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection Report for South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust  

CQC LogoThe Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its report following a planned inspection of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) in May.

The report gives the Trust a ‘good’ rating for its service being caring but highlights a number of areas of concern. The report judges the Trust to be ‘inadequate’ overall and NHS Improvement has placed the Trust into special measures. Below is a summary of our ratings for each of the core domains.

SECAmb CQC Rating 2016

The NHS 111 service operated by SECAmb was also inspected and has been rated as requires improvement overall. The Trust was awarded ‘good’ ratings for being responsive and caring. This service is not in special measures. Our ratings for NHS 111 for each of the core domains is shown below.

CQC Reports

The ratings have been determined by how we performed during our inspection against the five CQC domains of Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-Led. The inspections considered the standards of our clinical practice and patient care, the processes around our decision making, our core business systems, how well our policies and procedures were put in to practice and how we addressed areas of concern and shared lessons learned. The information was gathered by the CQC inspection team through staff focus groups, senior manager interviews, intelligence monitoring, stations visits, hospital visits and feedback from staff and patients.

Acting Chief Executive, Geraint Davies said: “While we are pleased that the dedication and care of our staff is highlighted as good in this report, we are sorry that we have not met the standards expected in a number of other areas.

“Following initial feedback from the CQC we have already been working on and implementing a number of improvements. I would like to reassure everyone we serve that I, along with my senior team, am committed and focused on ensuring these necessary changes continue. We are determined to implement the changes required to restore confidence in our service.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to point to the enormous amount of excellent work undertaken every day by our staff across our region, often in challenging circumstances, to respond to and treat patients, be it responding to a major road collision or saving the life of a patient in cardiac arrest.” 

What next? 

The Trust has appointed a new Interim Director of Quality & Patient Safety, Emma Wadey. Emma is also our Nominated Individual for the CQC, our Speak Up guardian and Chief Nurse. Her portfolio focuses on compliance and brings together some key workstreams including risk management, complaints, safeguarding and medicines management. Emma will be overseeing our response to the CQC report.

Our response is being coordinated through a recovery plan which will address the lists of ‘Must do’s’ and ‘Should do’s’ from each of our inspection reports. SECAmb has specific timeframes from the CQC for when actions must be completed. Each action has assigned ownership and will be demonstrated by key pieces of work to evidence each resulting service improvement.

For the services that have been placed in to special measures the Trust will be re-inspected in six months’ time (March 2017) when the CQC will want to see improved outcomes in patient safety, our leadership and governance and the Trust’s culture. SECAmb will also need to evidence how it has worked to meet the fundamental standards that it failed during the inspection.

What does it mean for our stakeholders?

Part of the CQC framework to support Trust’s that are put in to special measures is to work with, or signpost to, other organisations in the system to ensure improvements are made.

As a key stakeholder of South East Coast Ambulance Service we ask for your help and support to turn around the immediate areas of concern:

  • Patient Safety
  • Leadership & Governance
  • Culture

There will be a number of internal initiatives, new ways of working and engagement sessions taking place but we welcome any external input from our stakeholders. Could we work smarter together, is there potential to streamline current processes and make our systems more effective?

How do I find out more?

There is a dedicated SECAmb email address for all CQC related queries (for both inspection reports) and feedback which can also be used to find out what we have changed since this rating .

The full SECAmb inspection report can be found on the CQC website. The full inspection report for NHS 111 is also available via the CQC website.

Should you wish to contact the CQC direct you can call them on 03000 616161 or email They also have a web-page

Updates on the Trust’s progress against the recovery plan will be presented frequently via internal communications, Board meetings, Governor meetings, external stakeholder meetings and scrutiny panels. We also have a requirement and schedule for the services placed in special measures to update both the CQC and NHSI on service improvements to address the three primary areas of concern. Our website and Intranet will be sources of information for work in progress and work complete.

We would like to reiterate the statement from Geraint Davies “…I would like to reassure everyone we serve that I, along with my senior team, am committed and focused on ensuring these necessary changes continue. We are determined to implement the changes required to restore confidence in our service.”




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