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  1. ITV Report

East Mids Ambulance Service makes 'significant progress'

Photo: PA

A report into the performance of East Midlands Ambulance Service has found it's making significant progress, but still requires improvement.

The Care Quality Commission found emergency care was no longer "inadequate" thanks to the recruitment of extra frontline staff.

The CQC carried out its inspection of the trust in February and later followed up on suggested improvements which had been outlined at a 2015 inspection.

The trust was told that it required Improvement overall 2 years ago and was also served with a warning notice which included recommendations such as increasing staff and vehicle numbers. The CQC found that the improvements had been made as advised.

The areas inspected were safety and effectiveness of the Emergency and Urgent Care Services, Emergency Operations Centres and whether the service provided was safe, effective and well-led.

While the overall rating for the trust remains unchanged, inspectors found a number of significant improvements had been made and now, emergency and urgent care services are no longer rated as Inadequate for safety but as 'Requires Improvement.'

Richard Henderson EMAS Chief Executive responded to the report:

"Last year alone we'd responded to ten thousand more patients within eight minutes than we did the previous years, so we're getting to more, those more life threatening calls in a shorter time scale so we're continuing to see those improvements. We still have a long way to go but I'm confident we can see further improvements in the next year."

– Richard Henderson, EMAS Chief Executive.

CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

"On our return to East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust our inspectors found significant improvements had been made, and there were a number of areas of outstanding practice, but we still had some concerns. We found action had been taken to increase the number of front line staff, standards of cleanliness had improved and the majority of equipment and vehicle checks were appropriately completed. The number of vehicles delivering emergency and urgent care services had increased and potential risks to the service were anticipated and planned for. There had been improvements in training and development opportunities and there was a high level of confidence in and respect for the acting chief executive. Staff were caring, professional, compassionate and patient focussed in challenging circumstances."

"However, we were concerned that response times for some identified calls fell short of the national target which meant patients were not receiving care as quickly as they should. There were variable standards of incident investigation and a lack of learning at an organisational level in relation to those incidents."

– CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards.

The full report can be viewed here.