England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has told East of England Ambulance Service that it must make improvements to its response to emergency calls.
The ambulance service, which covers Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, was rated as Requires Improvement overall following an inspection which took place in March this year.
The inspectors found problems over the winter resulted in 'a number of serious incidents.' The trust was also told to improve its performance and response times to emergency calls.
Risk registers must be reviewed and staff must be appropriately mentored and supported to carry out their roles.
The trust was rated as Outstanding for whether its services were caring and Requires Improvement for whether its services were safe, effective well-led and responsive.
This means the trust’s ratings remain unchanged since CQC’s previous inspection in April 2017.
The CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “Our inspectors found some progress had been made at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, since our previous inspection, but that a number of improvements were still clearly needed.
“We found improvements had been made with regard to safeguarding, staff understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and incident reporting procedures. But the trust still did not meet national ambulance response standards and over the winter period delays resulted in a number of serious incidents.
“We were also concerned that, at the time of our inspection, staff morale was low. People working at the trust described a culture of late shift finishes, frustration at not being able to provide the service they wanted to due to pressures on the trust and disengagement between front line staff and the senior management team. People said they did not always feel valued, particularly after what had been an exhausting winter.
“However, we found a number of areas of outstanding practice and that staff were overwhelmingly caring and dedicated to providing the best care they could to patients. People who used the service also gave positive feedback.
“We fed our findings back to the trust immediately after our inspection, citing the areas where improvements must be made as a priority, and we have been monitoring the trust, working closely with NHS Improvement and other stakeholders, to help drive through improvements.
“The trust leadership knows what action it must take to bring about improvement and we will return to inspect and check on its progress.”
To see the full report, visit http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RYC
The Peterborough Telegraph contacted the East of England Ambulance Service for comment, but had not received a response at the time of going to press.