South West’s ambulance service praised by CQC for ‘outstanding’ care

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An ‘outstanding’ South West ambulance service has been praised for making vast improvements, with more in the pipeline.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust was commended for improving its service across the board, gaining an outstanding rating in one of the five categories.

Its chief executive, Ken Wenman, is ‘delighted’ the Care Quality Commission (CQC) recognised his staff’s ‘continued hard work, professionalism and compassion’.

The healthcare watchdog saw big improvements for SWASFT which earned it three ‘good’ ratings for being effective, responsive and well led.

The service also received the organisation’s highest ‘outstanding’ accolade for being caring.

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

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

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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).”