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Trust receives a CQC rating of Good

15 August 2019 

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) has warmly welcomed the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on it’s services, published today (15 August 2019), which sees the Trust rated as ‘Good’ overall and it’s Urgent & Emergency Care service rated as ‘Outstanding’ overall, including ‘Outstanding’ for Caring. 

The report, which follows planned inspections of the Trust’s services in June and July, sees the Trust rated as ‘Good’ overall in each of the inspection areas – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. The Trust is pleased that the NHS 111 service has retained its overall rating of ‘Good’. 

SECAmb also welcomes the announcement by NHS Improvement today that, following the CQC’s recommendation, the Trust should exit Special Measures. 

Acting Chief Executive Dr Fionna Moore said: “This positive report is testament to the huge amount of work that has been ongoing at SECAmb for the past couple of years. I am delighted, but not surprised, that staff have been recognised for the fantastic care they provide to patients and pleased that the big improvements we have made as a Trust during the past couple of years have been acknowledged.” 

Across emergency and urgent care, several areas were highlighted as ‘Outstanding’ including work to reduce hospital handover times and improve services for mental health patients, with staff receiving particular praise. Inspectors also commended the introduction of Joint Response Units with police services and the Trust’s Wellbeing Hub, which provides a range of resources to assist staff with their physical and mental health. 

Throughout the report, the CQC spoke positively about a number of aspects of the Trust’s service including: 

  • Staff treating patients with compassion and kindness, respecting their privacy and dignity and taking account of individual needs 
  • A strong, visible person-centred culture and that staff were highly motivated 
  • The service treated concerns and complaints seriously, investigated them and shared lessons learned with all staff 
  • There were clear systems and processes to safely prescribe, administer, record and store medicines. Inspectors observed outstanding practice in the management of controlled drugs. 
  • Staff were supported following traumatic experiences and events 
  • Trust leaders, new to the organisation at the last inspection, had now embedded into their roles. The changes had had a positive impact on the organisation. 
  • Staff told inspectors they felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. 
  • The service promoted equality and diversity in daily work and provided opportunities for career development. 

While the Trust is pleased that the CQC has evidenced such significant improvements, it is aware that there are areas where further work is required. 

The Trust is working hard to improve its response times to less seriously ill and injured patients. While SECAmb is performing well against the national average in responding to the most serious call categories (category one and two), at times of high demand patients in lower priority categories can sometimes wait longer than they should. Recent weeks have seen an improvement in the Trust’s response times to these patients and it is committed to further improvements. 

It is also committed to improving staffing levels across the Trust, including in its Emergency Operations Centres. 

Acting Chief Executive Dr Fionna Moore added “I would like to thank everyone at SECAmb for the dedication and commitment they show, day-in, day-out and hope they take a moment to celebrate how much we have achieved. 

“I am very aware that there remains work to be done to ensure we meet the high standards rightly expected. I am, however, very confident that we are on the right path to deliver further progress.” 

Trust Chair, David Astley added: “I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get SECAmb to where it is today. Every single member of staff and our volunteers contribute to the assessment made by the CQC and everyone should be very proud of what has been achieved. 

We are very aware that there remains a lot of hard work ahead and we will expect to deliver even higher standards in the years ahead.” 

Read the full report here.

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