Report highlights concerns over East of England Ambulance Service Trust response times

East of England Ambulance Service

East of England Ambulance Service - Credit: Archant

PATIENTS are not getting the care they need from the ambulance service, a watchdog’s probe has revealed.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has ruled the East of England Ambulance Service Trust’s “response times had deteriorated and people could not be assured they would receive care in a timely and effective manner”.

Prior to the commission’s visit in February there had been a number of complaints from staff and patients fearful that response times were falling.

The report, issued last week, states: “We noted that a high proportion of response decisions were subsequently amended once the priority of each call was determined by the call taker.

“We witnessed repeated examples of staff being ‘stood down’ and/or rerouted to other calls.”

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The trust must now prepare a report and send it to the CQC which spells out how they will improve the sub-par response times.

The ruling comes after a series of reports in the Reporter which shone a light on the trust’s falling response times.

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Away from that contentious issue the CQC did, however, find the service was doing well in other areas with procedures for infection control, safeguarding people from abuse and medicine management were above board.

Andrew Morgan, interim chief executive of the trust said: “I recognise that our performance and response times are simply not good enough.

“That is why we are recruiting more front line staff and seeking to put more ambulances out on the road, whilst also seeking to reduce the delays we experience in handing over patients at hospitals.

“We are also carrying out a clinical capacity review to better understand what resources are required to meet patient demand.

“This is alongside implementing an organisational strategy to better empower, engage and involve staff; together with learning from the good practice of other ambulance services from around the country.”

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