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SECAmb welcomes improved rating and committed to further progress

8 November 2018

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is pleased that a significant number of improvements have been recognised in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on its services published today, (Thursday 8 November 2018).

The report, which follows planned inspections of the Trust in July and August 2018, has rated SECAmb overall as ‘Requires Improvement’, a level up from its previous rating.

The CQC has recommended to NHS Improvement that the Trust remains in special measures while the improvements made are further embedded throughout the Trust.

While the Trust is disappointed to be remaining in special measures, it welcomes the improved overall rating, which reflects the hard work put in by staff across the Trust.

It is aware there remains more to be done to ensure it continues to make progress, including improving its service to patients who don’t require an immediate response and ensuring 999 calls waiting for an ambulance to attend are managed appropriately.

SECAmb is particularly pleased at the improvements made in the safe and well-led sections of the inspection and is delighted that staff have, once again, been rated as good for the care they provide to patients.

Areas of good practice and improvements highlighted by the CQC include:

• Staff cared for patients with compassion. All staff inspectors spoke with were motivated to deliver the best care possible and feedback from patients and those close to them was positive.

• The Trust promoted a positive culture that supported and valued staff. Inspectors found an improved culture across the service since the last inspection. Most staff felt the culture had improved and felt able to raise concerns to their managers.

• Medicines management was robust and effective with a marked improvement since the previous inspection. Inspectors found elements of outstanding medicine management, for example the way the trust handled Controlled Drugs. An external review also recognised the impressive turnaround in performance.

• A new well-being hub which enables staff to access support in a variety of areas. The service was widely commended by staff during the inspection.

• A significant improvement in the process for investigating complaints and the quality of the Trust’s response to complaints since the previous inspection

• Support for maternity patients was excellent. A new pregnancy advice and triage line for pregnant women had been introduced within the Crawley EOC.

Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said: “I am pleased that the CQC have found a significant number of improvements since their last inspection and I am confident that the Trust is on the right path to make further progress.

“We are aware that there remains work to be done and this has already been taking place since the inspection, prior to the publication of the CQC’s report. I know that right across the Trust, staff are committed to further improve the services we provide to our patients.

“I welcome last month’s increased funding decision by our commissioners, which will ensure that we can continue to make improvements and that we have the future capacity to deliver the service our communities rightly expect and deserve in the years to come.”

Trust Chair, David Astley said: “In the short time I have been with the Trust, I have been very impressed with all the staff I have met. They show tremendous commitment every day to our patients and they should be very proud.

“I and the Board are pleased with what we see as a positive report but recognise there is more to be done. We will continue to support the Trust as it moves forward and make further improvements.”

To view the report please click here.

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