Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust as Good following improvement
England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) as Good following an inspection by the CQC in September 2016.
During this focussed inspection, the team looked at a number of specific areas where the trust had been required to make improvements following a previous inspection in January 2015, in which it was rated as Requires Improvement overall.
CQC looked at the trust’s emergency operations centres, urgent and emergency care, patient transport services, and resilience services including the hazardous area response team (HART) and NHS 111 services.
The full reports including ratings for the provider’s core services are available at http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RX8.
The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Sir Mike Richards said:
“Covering almost 6,000 square miles and serving a population of more than five million people, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust faced real challenges, which were apparent at our previous inspection.
“Although we found a caring organisation in 2015, we told the trust it must improve the safety, effectiveness, and responsiveness of the service it was providing to the people of Yorkshire.
“Since then, it is clear that the trust has worked hard to address the issues we raised, and I am pleased to be able to change its rating from Requires Improvement to Good.
“This rating amendment reflects the changes they have made; we saw a trust with a much improved approach to safety, and one that was addressing national staff shortages through a range of local initiatives.
“We saw improvements in the effectiveness of the service provided. At our previous inspection, YAS was one of the worst performing ambulance trusts for reviving patients after a cardiac arrest. However, data gathered as part of this inspection showed it to now be among the top performing. We also saw improved response times which were leading to better outcomes for patients.
“We were impressed with the improvements we saw, and the staff at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust should be pleased with their new rating. However there is still work to do to ensure that the trust can sustain these changes and CQC has also told the trust where it must make further improvements.”
Inspectors identified a number of areas where the trust had made improvements including:
- At the previous inspection there had been concerns in relation to equipment checks and maintenance. At this inspection CQC found the trust had put in place a system to ensure equipment and stock was suitable to use.
- The trust had implemented a number of initiatives to improve staff engagement; the staff forum had become embedded since the previous inspection and was viewed positively by staff.
- Relationships between the trust and trade unions had improved but there was still more work for YAS to do.
- There was better clinical leadership in the response to cardiac arrest patients, which had improved the revival success rate.
Inspectors saw a number of areas of Outstanding practice including:
- The service supported 670 public access defibrillators across Yorkshire which were available for use by members of the public.
- The NHS 111 service had implemented access to palliative care nurses on weekends and bank holidays, who were able to provide support to patients approaching the end of their lives.
- HART staff presented evidence on the benefits of using antibiotics when treating open bone fractures, which has now become standard practice across the trust.
- The trust was working with partners to improve integrated, emergency care across the region as part of the urgent and emergency care vanguard.
However there are areas where the CQC have told the trust it must make improvements:
- The trust must ensure there are sufficient numbers of suitably skilled, qualified and experienced staff available at all times.
- Within patient transport services the trust must ensure that all ambulances and equipment are appropriately cleaned and infection control procedures are followed.
- The trust must ensure secure seating for children is routinely available in ambulance vehicles.
CQC ratings for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust are: