AN AMBULANCE trust’s work with a Polish university to help with the shortage of paramedics has won praise.
The Care Quality Commission highlighted the project run by South Central Ambulance Service as one of its outstanding areas of practice.
It comes as the watchdog today published its report on Scas giving the trust a rating of ‘good’ in four of the five criteria it looks at including if it is caring, well-led, responsive and safe.
For the final criteria, about the trust’s effectiveness, it was rated ‘requires improvement’.
Its overall rating was ‘good’ following the unannounced inspections in May this year, and Scas says it is the first ambulance trust in England to be rated good.
In the report Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said: ‘We saw several areas of outstanding practice including the trust working with a university in Poland to support the recruitment of paramedics.
‘The university taught students in English to aid employment in the UK and the trust had also supported the integration of Polish staff into the community.’
The project follows a recent shortage of paramedics which Prof Richards said is causing staff to work long hours and have low morale. Employees were, however, proud to work for the trust.
As well as focusing on recruitment, Scas was praised for its ‘caring and compassionate staff’ and its effective work with other healthcare providers.
The report said: ‘There was effective co-ordination of services with other providers and good multi-disciplinary working to support seamless care, admission avoidance and alternative care pathways,’ adding that ‘care was outstanding in patient transport services.’
But the report also highlighted areas where the service needed to improve.
It added: ‘The average time to respond to emergency calls was worse than the England average and the trust had some of the longest call waiting times. The trust was taking action on this.’
It also said the trust had reported more deaths than proportional average for all ambulance trusts. Treatment delays were said to be the main cause of this.
Ambulance CEO happy with report by CQC
THE chief executive of South Central Ambulance Service said he is delighted with its Care Quality Commission report.
Will Hancock said: ‘This is fabulous news for our organisation as we are the first and only ambulance trust to get a good rating across ambulance trusts in England.
‘I would like to thank our caring and professional staff for all their hard work and dedication.’
He added: ‘While we have demonstrated excellence in several areas, there are areas where we need to continue to make improvements.
‘The CQC recognised that the service is operating in an environment of unprecedented demand; yet despite this we are committed to finding a way to manage that demand to enable us to meet response times and ensure that patients are responded to safely and appropriately.
‘The CQC acknowledged that we are actively recruiting and developing all grades of staff to improve this.’