An ambulance service rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission has set out a wide-ranging improvement plan, including ‘civility training’ for senior leaders and ensuring board members hear a mix of ‘positive and negative’ stories from patients and staff.
South Central Ambulance Service has been moved into the equivalent of “special measures” by NHS England, in the wake of the Care Quality Commission report in August which criticised “extreme positivity” at the highest levels of the organisation.
This means 3 out of only 10 dedicated ambulance service trusts in England are now in segment four of NHSE’s system oversight framework, the successor to special measures. The other ambulance services in segment four are East of England and South East Coast.
In a damning inspection report published in August, the care watchdog said that leaders were “out of touch” and staff had faced a “dismissive attitude” when they tried to raise concerns.
One staff member told inspectors: “When sexual harassment is reported it seems to be brushed under the carpet and the person is given a second chance. Because of this, a lot of staff feel unsafe, unsupported and vulnerable when coming to work.”
An improvement plan summary published at the start of last month included a large number of priorites and actions, including to “ensure [a] mix of positive and negative patient/staff stories are presented to [trust] board meetings” – an apparent attempt to address CQC concerns that its positive outlook could feel “dismissive of the reality to frontline staff”.
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Source: HSJ, 11 October 2022