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CQC Rate South Western Ambulance Service’s Care as Outstanding

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England’s independent regulator of healthcare services the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has rated South Western Ambulance Service (NHS) Foundation Trust (SWASFT) as ‘Good’ in their latest inspection and ‘Outstanding’ for being ‘Caring’.

The Trust was pleased to welcome a team of CQC inspectors into the Trust sites across the region during their inspection of the quality of care the Trust provides.

The 999 Control hub teams have retained the rating of ‘Good’ for the way in which the ‘high quality team of staff’ within the hub manage and respond to emergency situations. The 999 Control hub have also retained an ‘Outstanding’ for caring.

The report also gives the ambulance service an ‘Outstanding’ rating for ‘Caring’ overall in recognition of the care and compassion that staff demonstrate every day when treating patients, and a rating of ‘Good’ for being ‘Effective’ and ‘Responsive’ to people’s needs. The Trust also received a rating of ‘Good’ for ‘Well-led’ with the report recognising the ‘strength of the vision and values of the organisation and the effectiveness of the Trust’s leadership’

The Chief Executive of South Western Ambulance Service, Ken Wenman, said: ‘The Trust has made significant improvements across all departments in order to reach this new rating of ‘Good’ for the quality of service it delivers to patients across the South West. I am delighted that 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 in the South West.’

Tony Fox, Chairman of South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT), said: ‘This is a great result and we are pleased to see the progress made since the last inspection has been recognised. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone working in the Trust for the caring, compassionate job they do day in day out treating patients in our communities.’

The CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: ‘South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has achieved a lot in the last two years. I am pleased to see that the team has implemented a number of changes since our last inspection in 2016 while still managing to retain an ‘Outstanding’ rating for caring for a second time. However, there is still more work to be done in ensuring a culture of safety exists across the whole of the trust and patients are reached on time.

‘We found that the senior leadership team had the ability to ensure improvements could be delivered and to address any risks to performance. We also recognised the board had reorganised the leadership and structure in front line services but this change was relatively new and needed time to embed.

The report also highlights that SWASFT has no barriers to clinical innovation and development and that the high quality leadership team who manage front line services in emergency and urgent care do their jobs effectively and support staff with the Staying Well Service. It also says SWASFT is good at engaging with local partners in order to improve and coordinate services. 


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