West Midlands Ambulance Service is delighted to receive an ‘outstanding’ rating which is the highest possible rating from health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC report, published on 25 January 2017, follows the regulator’s inspections to the Trust during the Summer of 2016.
The report specifically highlighted:
“Staff were outstanding in the way that they supported patients.”
It also outlined the:
“hard work of staff is exemplary and making a real difference to patients.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said:
“West Midlands Ambulance Service is the only ambulance trust to be rated outstanding by the CQC. I am incredibly proud of my staff and the volunteers who support us, for providing the best possible care to patients across the West Midlands.
Helping others is at the heart of everything we do and I am hugely pleased that the CQC saw a positive, patient centred culture within the Trust with hard working staff proud to work here and making a real difference to patients’ lives. Compassion is a large part of our role and I am equally proud that the report highlighted staff were outstanding in the way they support people who are distressed or overwhelmed in stressful situations.
Quality and safety are key priorities for us; they are essential for running an effective ambulance service and I’m pleased that this was highlighted by the CQC as was our strong and stable leadership team.
I am delighted that they also recognised that we are at the forefront of making improvements in dealing with the ever-increasing number of emergency calls we receive by recruiting hundreds of paramedics, the introduction of new vehicles and trialling innovative ways to minimise the time patients must wait.
I accept the comments in the report relating to improvements required in patient transport services. We have already implemented a number of improvements since the inspection and will continue to make further improvements so that we can improve their rating.
One of the great strengths of this organisation are the staff and the way they work so hard to do what is right for our patients and their colleagues. As well as those highlighted we also see this in other areas such as our clinical performance and financial objectives.
We will continue to do everything possible to raise our standards further. I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their outstanding professionalism, continued dedication and hard work.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service Chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum, added:
“This is an excellent start to 2017 not only for our staff and volunteers but for the people of the West Midlands. It is an inevitable fact that, every single day, people will call 999 for help in their hour of need. The CQC report shows that patients are receiving the highest standard of care and compassion from our staff as well as providing appropriate care in the right place and at the right time.
Despite the challenges faced by the NHS and the heavy demands placed upon the ambulance service, the Trust will continue to focus on patient care. I am very proud of all of you who provide such an excellent standard of service. Please accept my sincere thanks for all that you do.”
The CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:
“I am extremely pleased to announce that West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is the first ambulance service in England to receive an outstanding rating. As demand for emergency care grows year by year, our ambulance services have never been busier. I know the trust is at the forefront of national improvements in the ambulance service, exploring better ways to deal with emergency calls so that people get appropriate care in the right place at the right time.”
The inspections looked at all aspects of how the Trust operated, paying particular attention to Emergency and Urgent Care, Emergency Operations Centre, Patient Transport Services and Resilience. The five key areas the CQC look at are whether a service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. The Trust received a rating of ‘outstanding’ for providing caring and effective services and ‘good’ for being safe, responsive and well-led. Resilience was rated ‘outstanding’ overall.