The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) will be ending the 2013-2014 financial year on a high, after receiving a positive report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the third year running.
NWAS, the second largest ambulance service in the country, serving over seven million people, recently received an unannounced inspection by the CQC in February.
It took place over four days, specifically focusing on elements of the Emergency, Urgent Care and Patient Transport Service, within Cheshire and Merseyside.
The CQC visited the Trust’s Emergency Operations Centre in Anfield, Liverpool; four ambulance stations and also observed crews arriving at emergency departments in Cheshire and Merseyside.
As part of the inspection, NWAS was tested against the following key standards: Care and Welfare of People Who Use Services, Cooperating with Other Providers, Safety, Availability and Suitability of Equipment, Supporting Workers and Assessing and Monitoring the Quality of Service Provision.
The Trust was assessed as ‘compliant’ with all five standards the CQC looked at. Positive points highlighted within the CQC report include:
• Peoples health, safety and welfare were protected when more than one health care provider was involved in their care or treatment, or when they moved to different services. This was because the provider worked in cooperation with others.
• Service activity levels were continuously monitored and there were established procedures regarding responding to increased demand. Multi agency partnership working ensured there were robust plans in place to deal with different types of major incidents.
• Observed positive working relationships between hospital and NWAS staff with both commenting positively in accident and emergency departments.
• Evidence of various groups that had been set up to support staff, such as the Violence and Aggression working group.
Alan Stuttard, deputy chief executive for the North West Ambulance Service, said: “I would like to say thank you and well done to all staff.
“The outcome of the inspection is a testament to the hard work and dedication of NWAS staff who have demonstrated, once again, the high quality service we provide which puts patient care at the forefront of everything we do.
“There have been some extremely challenging times during the last 12 months, due to spells of hot weather over the summer months and severe weather conditions over winter in areas of the North West.
“Throughout the year, our staff have been unfailing in their commitment to both the Trust and our patients. I am very proud of both staff and the management team who have all contributed to continually improving standards.”