EMAS care up for public scrutiny ahead of CQC inspection

CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards.
CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards.
  • Chief Inspector of Hospitals asks people to tell him about care from ambulance service

Patients and the general public have their chance to give their views on East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) ahead of a crucial inspection in November.

In the same week that EMAS won a leading industry award for its “ground-breaking” partnership with Lincolnshire Fire and Service (LFR) and LIVES First Responders to deal with life-threatening emergencies, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) wants to hear people’s experiences of the ambulance service.

A CQC team is due to begin its inspection of EMAS on November 16 and ahead of this, CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards is inviting people to suggest improvements that can be made to EMAS in the light of their experiences over the past year.

Sir Mike said: “The inspection is designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of care at their regional ambulance trust, exposing poor or mediocre service, as well as highlighting good and excellent care.

“We know that there is too much variation in quality and these in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care in NHS services than ever before.

“Of course, we will be talking to a range of staff within the ambulance trust, the Department of Health, community groups and those within the voluntary sector.

There is too much variation in quality and these in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care in NHS services than ever before

CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards

“But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have used the trust’s services or anyone else who wants to share information with us as this will help us to plan our inspection and focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on this service.”

EMAS was last inspected by the CQC in April 2014 when its management was told to draw up a plan of action to meet targets for response times and staff training or face possible sanctions.

The CQC also said other areas for improvement included the availability of fully-equipped ambulances and the recruitment of more staff.

An EMAS spokesman said: “The inspection, which is part of the CQCs new regime, will bring around 100 healthcare experts to the East Midlands to gather individual reports that are then complied into a master report which will provide EMAS with an overall rating when it is published.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing the excellent patient care we offer and are spending time now preparing for the visit and ensuring that the arrival of the inspectors does not cause any disruption to our services.”

To take part in the CQC’s public survey, call 03000 616161, email enquiries@cqc.org.uk or write to CQC, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA.

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