Good rating for ambulance service

Ambulance bosses have praised the work of staff after a good report.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 19:29 pm
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 19:41 pm
North East Ambulance Service Chief Executive Yvonne Ormston. Picture by Doug Pittman.

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) has been rated ‘Good’ following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection last October.

The CQC rated NEAS as Good in all its categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

North East Ambulance Service operations centre

During the inspection, the CQC team looked specifically at management and leadership of NEAS, in addition to inspecting core services of the NHS111 service and the emergency operations centre (EOC).

The CQC rated these core services as Good, which means NEAS maintains its track record of being highly rated by the healthcare regulator.

The ambulance service was also rated Good at its last CQC inspection in April 2016.

NEAS chief executive Yvonne Ormston, MBE, said: “I am delighted that our service has been rated as Good overall.

“This is fabulous news and testament to the care and professionalism that all of our staff dedicate to our patients and service.

“Our workforce is committed to providing the best possible patient care, often in incredibly difficult circumstances, and I am pleased on their behalf that this has been recognised.

“More than 2.7 million people across the north east rely on our services and the CQC has recognised the pivotal role we are playing in the development of urgent and emergency care services in our community.”

Inspectors’ comprehensive assessment of NEAS found:

• Staff were caring and provided compassionate care. Accurate, timely and clear information was provided to patients and callers about their condition and followed the clinical pathways.

• Staff understood the patients’ personal, cultural, social and religious needs. They displayed an understanding and non-judgemental attitude to all patients.

• Managers across the trust promoted a positive culture that supported and valued staff, creating a sense of common purpose based on shared values.

• Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse and the trust worked well with other agencies to do so.

• NEAS used a demand forecasting tool to identify which resources would be required on which shifts to meet demand.

• Managers monitored the effectiveness of care and treatment and used the findings to improve them. They compared local results with those of other services to learn from them.

• NEAS had performed above average against other NHS ambulance trusts in five of the seven measures on the new Ambulance Response Programme.

The CQC report also highlighted that NEAS won the Enhancing Patient Dignity category for its end of life services in the Nursing Times Awards 2017. The end of life service provided a responsive and timely patient transport across the north east for patients with palliative/end of life care needs, enabling them to be cared for and die in the place of their choice.

Professor Ted Baker, CQC, chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Since its last inspection, the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has worked hard to maintain its rating.

“I do congratulate it on its overall good rating.

“When inspectors monitored calls in the emergency operations centres, they found that all the staff involved were calm, professional and considerate of patients’ needs.

“I applaud the steps the trust has taken to deal with instances of high demand.”