‘Significant steps’ are being taken to improve standards at Yorkshire Ambulance Trust following a critical inspection, the service’s chairman has said.
The Care Quality Commission said the ambulance service required improvement in a number of areas.
It ordered the trust needed to make sure equipment and medical supplies are checked and are fit for purpose, as well as ensuring ambulances and equipment are appropriately cleaned and infection control procedures are followed.
Trust chairman Della Cannings said today that progress is being made following the CQC findings being published in August.
Her comments come after the trust’s board approved an action plan in response to the CQC report at a recent meeting in Doncaster.
Ms Cannings said: “The Trust has not stood still since our CQC inspection in January and has already made significant steps to address the issues raised most of which the Trust itself highlighted to the CQC at the start of our inspection as being work in progress already agreed by the board.
“These include further promoting all clinical staff being ‘bare below the elbows’ to improve infection control and consistently improving deep and daily cleaning of vehicles.
“I am confident all issues raised by the CQC will be completed in line with our plans.”
She added: “The past year has been challenging for us on a number of levels many of which have been played out very publicly. What the papers are less interested in are the high number of positive stories we have or the successful developments that we have made for patients across the Yorkshire and Humber region.
“Investing in our vehicles, improving the work life balance for our frontline staff, managing increasing demand against external pressures such as hospital turnaround times and changes to social care and massively increasing the number of people who we are training in CPR and the use of defibrillators whilst managing our budget sensibly are all really good positive developments, all with patients at their heart. I felt it was really important to highlight this at the AGM along with just how much I recognise the hard work our staff do.”
The CQC report said that inspectors had ‘significant concerns’ about the checking of equipment within the Hazardous Area Response Team, with a large amount of apparatus past its expiry date.
It added that the trust had suffered ‘major difficulties in recruiting staff’.
Inspectors said: “National shortages of paramedics contributed to the trust’s difficulty in recruiting paramedics which impacted on the ability to be responsive and also enable staff to attend training and other activities.”