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Pressure grows on EMAS to improve as care watchdog releases damning report

East Midlands Ambulance Service is falling below standards in four out of six areas, according to a Care Quality Commission report.
ENGEMN00120130719131948

East Midlands Ambulance Service is falling below standards in four out of six areas, according to a Care Quality Commission report. ENGEMN00120130719131948

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is under pressure to improve after a damning report found it was failing in four out of six areas.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told EMAS bosses to draw up a plan of action by Thursday to meet targets for responding to life-threatening calls and training its staff or face possible sanctions.

A report, published on Friday, said other areas for improvement were the availability of fully-equipped ambulances and the recruitment of more staff.

But the report added that EMAS was meeting standards in the cleanliness and infection control of ambulances and its handling of compliants.

“Since our last inspection, the trust has made improvements in some areas, particularly responses to less urgent calls, staff engagement and monitoring of equipment,” the report said.

“However, the trust was still failing to meet the minimum standard for response times to the most urgent calls.

“Additionally, the trust did not have sufficient numbers of suitably skilled and experienced staff available at all times to meet the needs of people who used the service.”

Coun Chris Brewis, South Holland’s representative on the Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “I remain concerned that the performance figures for EMAS within the South Clinical Commissioning Group area, covering South Holland, remain so distressingly short of the expected target.

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes told the Free Press he would be writing to EMAS chief executive Sue Noyes about the report.

“I want to make sure that people who work for the service are getting the best possible professional support and my constituents get care when they need it,” Mr Hayes said.

But EMAS has been backed by Stephen Hyde, senior manager of LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service) who said: “From our perspective, we have an excellent working relationship with EMAS.

“We both have the same problems in that Lincolnshire has a very large rural area, but one of our biggest problems is the inappropriate use of 999 calls.

“Some of our responders are going to calls which could have been handled by the NHS out of hours service but from our point of view, EMAS has a very positive management structure in Lincolnshire and we’re very pleased with the progress it’s making.”

 

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