A new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has shown significant improvement for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. The report follows an unannounced inspection in December.
The CQC inspection shows the Trust met the criteria in five out of seven areas.
Whilst turning the service around and improving services to patients will take time, the report found the Trust Board was ‘taking reasonable steps’ to address the two areas requiring further action: care and welfare of people using services and staffing.
The report highlights that since the last inspection waits for ambulances (back up delays) for people in potentially life threatening instances were decreasing, reductions in complaints and serious incidents and a drop in staff sickness levels.
Since the inspection the Trust has appointed Dr Anthony Marsh, one of the most experienced ambulance chief executives in the country, as Chief Executive. Dr Marsh, who is accelerating service improvements, said that whilst the report acknowledges progress over the last year, there is more to be done to ensure the Trust once again becomes a top performing organisation.
Dr Marsh said: “This is an important report as it acknowledges the improvements that have already been made.
“It highlights the need to reduce long response times and ambulance back up delays to patients.
“This is why we have started recruiting 400 student paramedics and I am delighted that we have had in excess of 1,000 applications in the first week.
“This is one of our immediate priorities and will form part of the Board’s wider strategy to progress services and tackle resourcing issues.
“In addition, we will be looking to recruit more graduate paramedics and provide additional training for existing staff.
“This, along with other actions we have put in place such as our Hospital Liaison Ambulance Officer schemes to help speed up patient handovers at hospitals, will improve patient care, reduce ambulance delays and be beneficial for staff.
“I welcome this report as it shows everyone where we are; the improvements we have made and confirms that the changes we are making will tackle the other areas that need improvement, although this will take time.
“Although I have only been with the Trust for under a month I can clearly see the determination of everyone throughout the service, from the Board to the front line, to succeed and provide the type of service that we all want to see.”
Anyone interested in a career as a paramedic can find out more information or apply by visiting http://www.jobs.nhs.uk/ or follow @EEAST_Jobs on Twitter for job updates.