Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has reacted with concern to findings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which said that the North West Ambulance Service must improve in some areas in a report published today.
The Health and Social Care regulator conducted a series of inspections on the local ambulance service in May 2016. Within the report, the ambulance service was praised for its delivery of good service, compassionate care and response rates. Paying particular attention to the care received by patients the report highlighted the ambulance services’ delivery of, “Patients receiving good care and treatment from staff who worked well as part of a multidisciplinary team.” (1)
However, the report did point to improvements which the ambulance service should bring in as soon as possible. Whilst commenting on the services’ reporting standards, the regulator raised concerns that the ambulance service was not recording all incidents of urgent and emergency care which the report suggests could lead to falls in patient safety as additional care steps could not be put in place without correct reporting.
Although the inspection which informs the report was conducted over ten months ago and the fact the service received a ‘Good’ rating in 3 of the 5 indicators, patients are rightly concerned as we continue to go through a winter where our NHS services are stretched to their limit.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“What this report highlights is what many of us have known for some time; that our NHS is starting to show the strain after 7 years of Tory cuts, despite the best efforts of our clinicians and ambulance service.
“Most recently we saw the debacle of the Patient Transport Service in Greater Manchester being privatised and then, having failed, brought back in-house. Funding reductions of £927,000 directly transferred into reductions in staffing levels and a move towards using mobile data.
“I know patients will rightly feel concerned over these findings and I want to assure them that I’ll be speaking to the Chief Executive of the North West ambulance service and others to make sure the findings of the report are being acted upon.
“There is a lot in this report to be confident about – and many aspects of the service are judged as good – but we have to make sure that lessons are learned and improvements made where needed.”