London’s Ambulance Service under ‘special measures’
Posted: November 29, 2015
Posted in: Medical Negligence
Further to an inspection carried out in June by the Care Quality Commission (CQA), London’s Ambulance Service NHS Trust has become the first to be put into special measures in an attempt to attract aid to improve its failing service. The inspectors found the Service to be failing in the following areas:
- Staff shortage and poor staff training
- Inappropriate levels of staff supervision at senior levels
- Response target times being missed
- Low staff morale with individuals complaining of harassment and bullying
- High levels of frontline vacancies
The Trust, which until 2014 was ranked as top in the country for responding to category A emergency calls – responding within 8 minutes – has since been hitting target only 25% of the time. The Trust serves around 8.6 million people in the city.
One of the major problems has been the difficulty in recruiting frontline staff such as paramedics. It has carried out a well publicised recruitment drive as far afield as Australia and New Zealand to help deal with the estimated 1.9 million calls (more than 5000 a day). As a result of staffing problems, the emergency response time targets are not being met.
Chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has recommended that the London Ambulance Service be placed into special measures as he believes that “this is the step necessary to ensure this vital service gets the support it needs to improve.”
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