SCAS becomes first ambulance trust in England to be rated 'good' by CQC

Tara O'Connor

Despite ‘unprecedented demand’ South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has received a ‘good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The NHS foundation trust, formed in 2006, was inspected in May and the report was released yesterday (Tuesday).

It is the first time an ambulance trust in England has been given a ‘good’ rating.

The emergency operations centre, patient transport services and NHS 111 services were rated ‘good’ while emergency and urgent care ‘require improvement’.

An inspection team from the CQC visited 20 ambulance stations, air ambulance sites, clinical co-ordination centres and 10 acute hospitals.

Inspectors observed 13 emergency ambulances crews, seven non-emergency patient transport crews and spoke to about 350 members of staff across the trust.

In the five categories which make up the overall rating, four were rated good, and one section 'are services effective?' was rated 'requires improvement'.

SCAS serves more than four million people a year, including residents across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

The report outlined some outstanding areas which included NHS 111 working with Age UK and the trust's partnership with a Polish university to support the recruitment of paramedics.

'Action the trust must take to improve' includes response times for emergency and urgent care being met.

SCAS chief executive Will Hancock said: “I would like to thank our caring and professional staff for all their hard work and dedication.

“Whilst we have demonstrated excellence in several areas, there are also areas where we need to continue to make improvements.

“The CQC recognised that the service is operating in an environment of unprecedented demand; yet despite this we are committed to finding a way to manage that demand to enable us to meet response times and ensure that patients are responded to safely and appropriately."

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