Watchdog praises ‘outstanding’ care provided by West’s ambulance service

PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 October 2018

The woman and two children have been airlifted to hospital.

The woman and two children have been airlifted to hospital.

jean-marie guyon

The South West’s ambulance service has been praised for making significant improvements, to the delight of its chief executive who is ‘committed to tackling any issues’ remaining.

The Care Quality Commission has praised the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) for making vast improvements to its service when it visited in the summer.

The inspection focussed on the emergency care and the service’s operations centre but also held a magnifying glass over its leadership.

The healthcare watchdog saw improvements across the board for SWASFT – which was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ in 2016.

The trust has been rated as ‘good’ for being effective, responsive and well led and was given the highest accolade of ‘outstanding’ for being caring.

However, the health watchdog has told the emergency service it still has a way to go after inspectors felt the safety still required improvement.

SWASFT chief executive Ken Wenman said: “I am delighted our ambulance crews and staff have been recognised for their continued hard work, professionalism and compassion.

“This report also recognises the long-standing focus the trust has had in reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital emergency departments, which is a much better experience for patients and a significant reduction in costs for the health system.

“We will continue working to build on the findings of the report. We take the welfare and safety of our staff incredibly seriously.

“Therefore we will be launching a campaign to tackle assaults against staff, as well as continuing to support staff and encourage them to report all such incidents.

“We are working exceptionally hard to improve our response times for all patients, and will continue to work with our strategic partners to negotiate further resources.

“We have already made changes to ensure the safety and security of our buildings and vehicles.

“We have also undertaken a cultural survey of all our staff to find out more about their experiences and perceptions.

“We are committed to tackling any issues raised (within this).”

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