South Coast ambulance service trust will remain in special measures, says UK hospitals chief

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AN ambulance service trust should remain in special measures, the chief inspector of hospitals has said.

Professor Ted Baker has told South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust that it must continue to make ‘significant improvements’ to its services.

His comments come following its latest Care Quality Commission inspection in which the trust’s overall rating of inadequate remained unchanged.

The latest inspection was to review progress against the requirements of a warning notice issued last year.

In its latest report, the CQC has told the trust to make ‘urgent improvements’ in a number of areas such as keeping a complete and accurate recording of 999 calls.

Professor Baker said: ‘Although we have seen some areas of improvement, the trust has not yet made enough progress for me to recommend that it should leave special measures.

‘I am concerned that the previous leadership has not fully addressed longstanding cultural issues and in particular the historical problems of bullying and harassment.

‘While the problem is now being addressed there is still work to be done here and in the management of medicines.

‘It is clear there have been deep rooted problems and the trust would now benefit from a period of stable management to address these issues.’

The trust manages the service that provides emergency care and support to West Sussex, Surrey, East Sussex, the north-eastern parts of Hampshire and Kent.