Ambulance Trust remains the most successful in the country

A new report from the Care Quality Commission has shown the West Midlands Ambulance Service remains the best in the country.

The CQC inspected the Trust last year and looked at two core services: urgent and emergency care and our emergency operations centres (EOC), as well as how well-led the trust was overall.

Friday, they published their report which rates the Trust as ‘Good’. Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said:

“The overall rating has dropped from Outstanding to Good, which is disappointing given how hard our staff work every single day, but we are delighted that the inspectors continue to believe that the caring domain remains outstanding.

“In addition, the inspectors have now rated our Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) as outstanding; the only one in the country. As the report notes, we have the best call answering in the country and treat more patients over the phone than any other Trust.

“However, the biggest change the inspectors noted was in our effectiveness, which has dropped from outstanding to requires improvement.

“The report is very clear that the root cause of this change is as a result of hospital handover delays that see our crews stuck outside hospitals for hours on end, unable to respond to patients in the community. They also note the hugely negative impact these delays have on our staff and their wellbeing.

“As a Trust, this is an issue that we have raised time and time again, with the Trust Board rating this risk at 25, the highest available. We understand the pressures our partners are under and we will continue to do everything we can to work with them to make the changes necessary to allow us to get to patients much more quickly going forwards.

“Given this inspection happened at perhaps the most challenging time within the history of the NHS, there is much to be proud of. However, we do also note the comments about our culture. The report notes the work we have done ensuring staff feel able to speak up and our colleagues treat each other with the respect they deserve.

“The Trust has been working hard over the last 18 months with staff fully involved in creating a new cultural statement, the launch of our sexual safety charter, the development of our six staff networks and the substantial increase in the health and wellbeing support available to individuals.

“While it is pleasing that the CQC noted the progress that we have made, we absolutely accept that there is further work to be done.

“By service lines inspected, WMAS has more outstanding ratings than any other ambulance service, something our staff should be incredibly proud of, but we are determined to make the changes necessary to move back to Outstanding overall when we are next inspected.”

Joint Union Staffside Chair, Reena Farrington added: “We are obviously delighted to see EOC achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating but it is disappointing that the hard work of our operational staff is not being fully recognised by the outcome of the report.

“It is not their fault that they are stuck for hours on end outside A&E Departments, yet they are being penalised for that in the rating. Why should hard working, dedicated staff be penalised for something that is out of their control?

“We will continue to work with the Trust to improve the culture of the organisation and ensure all staff feel safe to speak out.”


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