September 13, 2022

Damning CQC Inspection Criticises South Central Ambulance Service Bosses

Following an inspection in April and May, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the ambulance service as inadequate. The report said that delays contributed to the death of an elderly patient while patients in ambulances endured waits for several hours outside the hospitals.

The SCAS which covers Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire has said it was "determined to make rapid improvements".

The ambulance service has been served a warning notice by the commission which requires it to make immediate and significant improvements following its report which said the trust's governance "undermined the quality of care it provided to people".

In one of the cases reviewed, a long delay before the arrival of an ambulance contributed to the death of a patient who had fallen and was trapped under their bed. In another case, inspectors were told that a patient endured a 14 hour wait on the floor after falling.

In the report, the CQC also said that pigeon droppings covered vehicles and contaminated personal protective equipment for staff at a premises in Portsmouth.

However, the report noted that patients were treated with kindness and compassion.

'Improve response times'

Deanna Westwood, CQC's south network, said the inspection was carried out because of concerns surrounding governance and training, but further issues were also identified.

She said: "While staff were doing their very best to provide safe care to patients and support to each other, leaders sometimes appeared out of touch and were not fully sighted on issues that impacted the overall effectiveness of the care they were providing."

Chief Executive of SCAS, Will Hancock said the trust would address concerns "as a matter of urgency".

He added: "We have already taken swift action, but I recognise we have more to do. Providing the best possible care to all our patients remains our top priority."

He also said the service was working with NHS partners to manage ongoing pressures and "improve response times and hospital handover times".

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