Health watchdog slams ambulance service

Emergency ambulance
Emergency ambulance

East Midlands Ambulance Service still needs to improve in a number of areas, according to a health watchdog report.

Inspectors from the Quality Care Commission (CQC) say EMAS will miss out on meeting the minimum standard for response times to life-threatening calls for the full year and more emergency vehicles needed to be made available at the start of shifts.

The CQC inspection in January, said four of the six areas inspected require improvement.

It acknowledges improvements made since the last visit in March 2013, with progress made by EMAS in a number of areas, including responses to less urgent calls, infection control and deep cleaning of vehicles.

Inspectors also noted that EMAS is taking reasonable steps to progress its improvement plans, and is happy that no further action needs to be taken by the CQC.

EMAS Chief Executive Sue Noyes, said the findings of the report reflected that EMAS was well underway in delivering an organisation-wide improvement programme.

She said: “It praises us for many areas of care, such as cleanliness and infection-control, our handling of complaints, the professional, attentive nature of staff, and it acknowledges many improvements made since our last inspection.

“However, there are a number of areas where we know we need to improve. We are well underway with addressing these.

“We have recently launched our new staff career development and support programme, and continue to focus on ensuring more consistent availability of ambulances at the start of shifts, and on improving staff engagement, satisfaction and morale. “I am confident that our improvement plans under the ‘Better Patient Care’ programme will meet the areas identified in the report.”