Health watchdog to inspect SECAmb
South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is set to be inspected by a health watchdog.
The ambulance trust will be scrutinised by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on May 3.
SECAmb serves a population of 8.6 million people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and is one of the busiest of England’s ten ambulance trusts.
Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, has appealed to members of the public to provide their experiences of SECAmb.
“Last year, NHS ambulance services received over 9 million 999 calls resulting in the majority of patients being taken to an emergency department or directly admitted to a specialist department such as a stroke or coronary unit,” he said.
“At the same time nearly 2 million people were able to be treated at home thanks to the skills of ambulance staff.
“Ambulance services are also responsible for helping to care for over 5 million patient transport service journeys each year for people who need help attending non- emergency pre planned appointments.
“We need to make sure that ambulance services are safe, caring, responsive, effective and well led.
“This inspection will provide people with a clear picture of the quality of their local ambulance service, exposing poor or mediocre service if it exists as well as highlighting where the trust provides good and excellent services.
“If you have recently needed to call out an ambulance in emergency, or have experience of using the service – we would like to hear from you.”
The trust is came under investigation by watchdog Monitor after it was revealed bosses at the trust started a pilot scheme which delayed sending help for certain 111 calls, transferring them instead to the 999 system.
This led to delays in urgent care for patients as most of the calls affected were in the second most serious category – Red 2 calls – which covers conditions such as strokes.
Chairman of the ambulance trust Tony Thorne resigned last month and chief executive Paul Sutton has taken a leave of absence from the organisation.
Inspectors will be visiting emergency operations centres where 999 calls are received and interviewing the teams who make up the ambulance service.
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