The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the London Ambulance Service (LAS) as Good, a significant improvement from its previous rating of Requires Improvement.
The LAS covers an area of approximately 620 square miles, 10.36 of that is Lambeth. It is the busiest ambulance service in the country and one of the busiest in the world. In 2016/17 London Ambulance Service responded to over 1.8 million 999 calls, attending 1.1 million incidents including a number of major events.
Following the recent inspection, the trust was rated Outstanding for being caring and Good for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led. This inspection included the core service areas of emergency operations centres (EOC) and emergency and urgent care (E&UC). These core services had a number of areas which Required Improvement and this inspection was designed to assess what progress had been made.
Inspectors found examples of outstanding care at the trust, which has treated people that have been involved in major incidents in London in recent years. Staff often went above and beyond their expected duties in order to meet patient needs. Inspectors saw and heard about examples of the commitment of staff from patients.
Professor Ted Baker, England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals said:
“I’m very encouraged by the improvements in the quality of care provided by London Ambulance Service. The progress the trust has made is a real testament to the hard work of staff and leaders.
“The trust has developed a number of innovative changes to the way it operates, such as the ‘hear and treat’ service, which provides clinical assessments over the phone to more callers with less serious illnesses and injuries. More importantly, inspectors found that the culture of the trust had improved significantly, with staff feeling more able to raise concerns. Overall, staff are better supported to carry out their crucial work – and we have rated the trust as ‘Outstanding’ for caring.
“The improvements the leadership and staff of LAS have made are especially commendable – and especially necessary – given the major incidents the trust has responded to over the past year, including terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
“We have now recommended to NHS Improvement that the trust be taken out of special measures.”
About the Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and they encourage care services to improve. The CQC monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and they publish what they find to help people choose care.