The South Central Ambulance Service keeps getting better.
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has kept its ‘Good’ rating in the latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The inspection showed improvements across the emergency and urgent care services. As well as the resilience and emergency operations centres, and NHS 111 service.
CQC inspectors visited in July and August and rated the Trust as ‘Good’ for the quality of its services. It was also ‘Good’ for being safe, effective, responsive to people’s needs and a well-led organisation.
Will Hancock, Chief Executive at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said:
At a time when pressure on all our services continues to rise, I would like to thank all our staff and volunteers for their commitment, dedication and hard work that have been recognised in this latest CQC inspection. Since the last inspection in 2016, inspectors have recognised the improvements made to services, the success we have had in recruiting more staff despite considerable challenges and it is particularly pleasing that staff told the CQC they felt supported, valued and respected. Today’s publication recognises that we consistently deliver safe, patient-centred care across all of our services. I am proud to lead an organisation with such a culture of continuous improvement, and one where delivering the very best care for every patient is at the heart of what every one of my colleagues does day in, day out.
The inspectors found that:
- Staff across the Trust cared for patients with compassion, dignity and respect.
- Response rates to 999 calls had improved. SCAS was doing better than average across English ambulance trusts.
- The Trust’s strategy, vision and values underpinned a patient-centred culture.
- Managers had the right skills to run the service and provide high-quality, sustainable care.
- Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They also felt positive and proud about working for the Trust and their team.
The Trust tried new ways of solving staffing issues in the NHS 111 service. For example, the use of home workers, joint working and changes in working patterns to attract more applicants.
Professor Helen Young, Executive Director of Patient Care and Service Transformation, said:
I am delighted that the CQC reports confirm that we are making great progress on our journey of continuous improvement. It was particularly pleasing to see that the inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice, such as our pioneering Falls and Frailty Service partnerships that help keep frail and elderly patients out of hospital, and the well-established ‘Bright Ideas’ scheme. Under the scheme, innovations such as our Trauma App and Clinical Pathways App have helped deliver real benefits to our staff, our patients’ experiences and clinical outcomes.
Inspectors also noted the success SCAS has achieved through working with a wide range of partners. The report highlighted how the Trust was leading service innovation. For example, within NHS 111 through the provision of new services such as mental health, pharmacy, dentistry, paediatrics and end-of-life care. There are also technological innovations with augmented reality headsets which provide holograms to help training in the workplace.