service told by inspectors that it 'requires improvement'
Care Quality Commission report released today (Wednesday) has rated
South West Ambulance Service - which operates in the Burnham-On-Sea
area - as "requiring improvement" in a number of areas,
despite good performance in others.
Chief Inspector of Hospitals has told the service that it must make
improvements to some of its services following an inspection in
June by the Care Quality Commission.
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has been rated
as "requires improvement" although its services were rated
"Outstanding" for caring, and "Good" for being
responsive. The trust was rated "Requires Improvement"
for whether its services were safe, effective and well-led.
of inspectors looked at six core services: Emergency Operations
Centres, Emergency and Urgent Care including the Hazardous Area
Response Team (HART) and Patient Transport Services.
Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "As
demand for emergency care grows year by year, our ambulance services
have never been busier. I know that South Western Ambulance Service
is at the forefront of national improvements in the ambulance service,
exploring better ways to deal with emergency calls so that people
get the attention they need, in the right place and at the right
trust has a strong and stable leadership team, which has put quality
and safety as key priorities and has organised the staff and resources
well across a wide geographic area, responding well, on the most
part, to the most urgent calls, and working closely with other NHS
providers to maximise the effectiveness of the service."
found staff in the emergency operations centres and emergency and
urgent services to be outstanding in the way they supported people
who were distressed or overwhelmed in often highly stressful situations."
we also found some variation in quality across the services we inspected.
There were significant gaps in mandatory training and we found the
levels of staffing were not always sufficient to provide relief
when staff were training, or on leave."
am concerned that not all staff were reporting incidents, particularly
when they were verbally abused by callers. Some felt that they did
not have time to report all incidents, so losing the chance to learn
from them and take appropriate action in future."
the inspection we identified a number of areas for improvement which
we have passed on to the trust and to local commissioners. Our inspectors
will return at a later date to check on their progress."
on the report, Chris Nelson, co-secretary for UNISON SW ambulance
service branch, said: "All our staff in the ambulance service
are working flat-out to maintain standards across the board. Our
members are committed public service workers who want to see the
best possible care for their patients. Their caring and dedicated
work in an incredibly challenging environment was rightly praised
by the CQC."
"While services can and should improve, funding is simply inadequate
to reach the standards we all want. Staff will continue to make
the best of what theyve got, but without additional resources
into ambulance services, demand on our members is just too high."
"The report highlights mental and physical health problems
among ambulance service workers. Unless the government allocates
more funding and staffing, theres a risk that quality will
take another hit. World-class public services need real investment
in the people who carry them out, not ever-increasing demands on
"We have already started planning in partnership with management
and the CQC to deal with issues in the report, despite the governments
refusal to provide enough funding."