Due to the concerns around ambulance waiting times, the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales undertook a local review of the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST).
The review explored how the risks to patients’ health, safety and wellbeing are managed whilst they are waiting for an ambulance. It assessed how patients are being managed by WAST’s three Clinical Contact Centres across Wales, from when a request for an ambulance is received to the point the ambulance arrives at the scene.
The report Assessment of patient management arrangements within emergency medical service clinical contact centres outlines the findings of the review.
- Delays caused by hospital handover, resulting in reduced ambulance availability, are a frequent occurrence, limiting ambulance resource and affecting the Trust’s ability to respond in a timely way to demand. This can have a detrimental impact upon outcomes for patients.
- Concerns were highlighted with the consistency of incident reporting, with a need for the Trust to ensure a consistent understanding of what constitutes a reportable incident.
- There was a strong team ethos within the Trust’s Emergency Medical Service Clinical Contact Centres (EMSCCCs) in what is a stressful environment, with staff striving to deliver services, often in extremely difficult circumstances.
- The pressurised working environment was however having a negative impact on staff well-being with inadequate staffing levels impacting on the safe delivery of the service.
- Staff raised concerns that the training and support they received needed to be improved, in order to carry out their roles effectively.
The report sets out 27 recommendations on how the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust might be able to improve its service.
To read the document in full and to access an Easy Read version, follow the link below.