Ambulance service wins Good rating
OUTSTANDING work by paramedics has helped the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust achieve a “Good” rating from the Care Quality Commission.
Two years ago the service was said to require improvement.
England’s chief inspector of hospitals, Prof Ted Baker, has welcomed the improvements. The CQC watchdog also rated the trust as Good for being safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well led.
Inspectors found that work by the community paramedics was outstanding, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team with community nurses, mental health nurses, teachers and in care homes with the needs of the community at the forefront.
Staff were involved in initiatives ranged from helping mental health patients overcome fears of medical procedures to preventative measures aimed at reducing admissions to emergency departments by residents of care home residents.
Prof Baker said: “With 1.4 million calls per year there is constant pressure on the ambulance services in the North West to be there whenever we need them, at all times of the day.
“I am pleased to acknowledge the hard work and continuous improvement made by North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust to build upon the findings of our last inspection and have helped the trust improve its rating to ‘good’.
“We found a patient-centred service where staff consistently showed compassion and respect to patients and callers during some very stressful and demanding situations.”
In emergency and urgent care there were also new staffing arrangements that provided support to ambulance teams in responding to risk.
Staff had access to enhanced clinical support when they needed it and told inspectors they were always given time to make safeguarding referrals.
In the period until April this year the trust’s performance for dealing with category 1 emergency calls had improved and was now better than the national average.
The trust itself has pointed to good ratings for three of the its key services covering urgent and emergency care, emergency operations centres and resilience teams.
Inspectors also found evidence that safety and leadership at the trust had improved since its last inspection in 2016.
Interim chief executive Michael Forrest said: “We are delighted with a ‘good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission which we feel reflects the way we deliver services for patients and values the dedication of our hardworking staff who work under ever increasing demand.
“CQC said that our staff are proud to work for the organisation, and we’re extremely proud of them too. We are thrilled CQC noticed the high levels of care by our frontline staff where patients were treated with respect and compassion.
“We are particularly happy with improved ‘well-led’ and ‘safe’ ratings and that CQC noted staff were engaged with our strategic vision to do the right thing for every patient, every time.
“There’s still a lot of work to do to achieve our aim of becoming the best ambulance service in the country, but this rating assures us, and the people we serve in the north west, that we’re heading in the right direction.”
CQC said that among other improvements the service should improve arrangements systems to ensure vehicles are safe, clean and ready to go.
The North West Ambulance Service has been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission