South East Coast Ambulance Service to be placed in 'special measures'

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended that South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust be placed into special measures

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'Our ambulance have 400,000 miles on the clock' - special measures for scandal-hit Ambulance Trust

Delayed ambulances and not answering 999 calls quick enough - just two of the reasons a scandal-hit ambulance trust has been put into special measures.

A damning report into the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) - which covers Sussex, Surrey and North-East Hampshire - also found other serious concerns, including:

- Response times not meeting national targets.

- Patients giving up on calls for help, especially on weekends.

- Not enough staff, impacting on performance and fatigue.

- A culture of harassment and bullying of staff.

So what now for the troubled trust?

Andy Dickenson speaks to Ben Williams, Geraint Davies, acting chief executive of Secamb, Alan Thorne of the Care Quality Commission, David Liley of Healthwatch, and Nigel Sweet from Unison.

Ambulance boss says improvements underway at troubled service

The acting Chief Executive of the troubled South East Coast Ambulance Service say work is already underway to improve.

The service has been heavily criticised - and put in 'special measures' - after deliberately delaying thousands of 111 calls. Thousands of patients were subject to delays as a result.

Here's acting Chief Executive Geraint Davies:

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SECAMB responds to damning CQC report recommending 'special measures'

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) NHS Foundation Trust says it is 'committed' to improving the quality of its service following the announcement that it will be placed in 'special measures'.

The trust received a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), but says it would like to reassure the public that it has already been working hard to implement a number of important changes.

SECAMB released the following statement:

While we are pleased that the dedication and care of our staff is highlighted as good in this report, we are sorry that we have not met the standards expected in a number of other areas.

Following initial feedback from the CQC we have already been working on and implementing a number of improvements. I would like to reassure everyone we serve that I, along with my senior team, am committed and focused on ensuring these necessary changes continue. We are determined to implement the changes required to restore confidence in our service.

I would also like to take this opportunity to point to the enormous amount of excellent work undertaken every day by our staff across our region, often in challenging circumstances, to respond to and treat patients, be it responding to a major road collision or saving the life of a patient in cardiac arrest

– Acting Chief Executive, Geraint Davies
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