Watchdog’s praise for West Midlands medics after inspection - The Coventry Observer

Watchdog’s praise for West Midlands medics after inspection

Coventry Editorial 15th Apr, 2023   0

PARAMEDICS from West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) have been praised for ‘working hard under sustained pressure’ amid rising response times and missed handover targets.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) delivered the verdict following an inspection of services provided by the West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust in November.

Staff treated people with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, especially when moving them long distances from an ambulance to the emergency department, according to inspectors.

Infection, prevention and control was good, and staff were ensuring equipment and personal hygiene were of a high standard

Communication and multi-disciplinary team working were good. Staff maintained a focus on patient care and shared information appropriately.

However, inspectors also found some senior leaders were often not available at busy times, and this led to lack of leadership support and some staff feeling disheartened about the prospect of improvement.

Alternative pathways, to avoid taking people to hospital, were not always known to staff from outside the area said inspectors.

Communication to staff about processes, like sourcing nutrition for a patient waiting in an ambulance, was not clear to all staff, according to the report.

But the rise in both response times and delays in handing over patients once at hospital were of a concern to inspectors.

Sonia Brooks, CQC deputy director of operations in the Midlands, said “The delays in handing people over at hospitals meant ambulances and crews couldn’t be made available to attend other calls.

“These lengthy delays at hospitals increased risk to people, particularly those who had been lying on trolleys or stretchers in ambulances for long periods of time.

“Although ambulance staff were working hard to meet national targets, these handover delays were a reflection of what’s happening across the healthcare system nationally during these times of sustained pressure.

“However, people praised ambulance crews for their care and compassion, particularly during the lengthy waits at hospital.

“We will continue to monitor the trust closely, through future inspections, to ensure leaders are mitigating the risks of these issues and that people are receiving high quality care.”


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