South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is committed to making improvements following the publication of a CQC report rating how the Trust was led as inadequate.

We are pleased the excellent care provided by our staff was recognised in the report and their kind, compassionate and supportive approach towards patients was noted.

We are especially pleased to see our NHS 111 service retain its ‘good’ rating following a very difficult two years of the pandemic, which placed significant strain on the service.

The inspection, which took place in February, looked in particular at management and leadership but also at our Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) and NHS 111 service.

The serious concerns surrounding culture and leadership highlighted by the CQC are being taken extremely seriously and we have already begun the work to implement improvements at pace, taking on board early feedback from the CQC as well as feedback from our own staff survey.

We are pleased to have appointed a new Interim Chief Executive – Siobhan Melia – last week; Siobhan, who takes up her role on 12 July, has a strong clinical background and is an experienced Chief Executive, with good knowledge of our region and our partners.

Our Leadership Team has set out the key priorities for the year, including building a culture that fully reflects our values, supports our vision and ensures the satisfaction and wellbeing of our people and embeds quality improvement across everything we do.

An important campaign – ‘Until it Stops’ – is being rolled out to address inappropriate behaviours and we are committed to working with colleagues across the organisation to implement changes and ensure they view SECAmb as a place at which they want to work and deliver high-quality care to our patients.

SECAmb Interim Chief Executive Fionna Moore said: “It is clear from this report that SECAmb has a long way to go to ensure our staff feel properly supported to perform their roles. The whole Leadership Team is committed to doing everything we can to make SECAmb a better place to work, so that our staff are best placed to respond to our patients.

“However, I am pleased that, despite the issues highlighted in the report concerning leadership at the Trust, the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers did not go unnoticed.

“I look forward to working closely with Siobhan Melia, our newly appointed Interim Chief Executive, as we first build and then embed the necessary improvements at SECAmb.”