East’s ambulance trust ‘taking reasonable steps’ to improve

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The east’s ambulance service is ‘taking reasonable steps’ to address its problems, the Care Quality Commission has reported.

The CQC inspected East of England Ambulance Service Trust in December, the month before Dr Anthony Marsh took over.

While still expressing concern over response times in some areas, notably Norfolk and Essex, and on staffing levels, the commission praises the high standard of care ambulance crews give patients, noting 96 per cent of respondents were very satisfied or satisfied with the service.

The CQC said: “Members of the board we spoke with showed a more realistic understanding of the challenges the trust faced since our last inspection which included the need to recruit more staff; to increase front line resources; to reduce staff sickness, to strengthen leadership and to engage better with staff.

“After careful consideration, we have concluded that the trust is taking reasonable steps to address the breaches in regulations and therefore it would not be appropriate to take further enforcement action at this point.

”We will continue to closely monitor the trust.”

Dr Marsh said: “This is an important report as it acknowledges the improvements that have already been made. It highlights the need to reduce long response times and ambulance back up delays to patients.

“This is why we have started recruiting 400 student paramedics and I am delighted that we have had in excess of 1,000 applications in the first week.”