Ambulance service told to improve

Harriet Lee, 16

St John’s College, Southsea, GCSE art exhibition

SOUTH Central Ambulance Service must provide better support and training for its staff, a health watchdog has said.

The independent Care Quality Commission said the ambulance trust was still not meeting one of the essential standards of quality and safety.

It found that while standards had improved for 999 response times, the trust had failed to meet targets for staff training and supervision.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said there had been significant improvements to delays, and argued that high quality care was being provided to emergency patients. The CQC published the report after raising concerns in April.

The watchdog, which grades health services across England, said the service must take action to ensure all its staff receive an annual appraisal where their training needs can be properly assessed.

Roxy Boyce, regional director for CQC in the south east, added: 'Inspectors will return unannounced to check whether the improvements have been made and to decide whether to initiate formal enforcement action.'

In 2009 the CQC rated South Central Ambulance Service as 'weak' for failing to meet its targets, and claimed it was among the three worst ambulance trusts in England.

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