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

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

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
  • There were clear systems and processes to safely prescribe,
    administer, record and store medicines. Inspectors observed
    outstanding practice in the management of controlled
  • Staff were supported following traumatic experiences and
  • 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
  • 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

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

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

Read the full report