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Trust criticised for ‘extreme positivity’ and drops two ratings to ‘inadequate’

Senior leaders of an ambulance trust have been told their ‘extreme positivity’ has made them appear ‘out of touch’ as the Care Quality Commission downgraded the organisation’s rating to ‘inadequate’.

The health watchdog has dropped the overall rating of South Central Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, as well as the provider’s ratings for safety, leadership and for its urgent and emergency care services, from “good” to “inadequate”.

The CQC has served SCAS with a warning notice and has criticised the trust’s board for its “extreme positivity about its performance”, which “could feel dismissive of the reality to frontline staff.” The regulator also said it saw evidence “of executive leaders attempting to discredit people raising valid concerns” and was told that serious concerns including sexual harassment had been “brushed under the carpet”.

The CQC, which published the report today, also said there was “no evidence” of action being considered by SCAS to manage risk for patients suffering long handover delays outside A&E departments, and that serious issues “had not been addressed internally”.

Will Hancock, chief executive of SCAS, said the trust had an “extensive improvement plan” and is “committed to making things better”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ (25 August 2022)


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