South East Coast Ambulance Service in Special Measures

We've placed South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust into Special Measures following a series of concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission.

We're working closely with South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust to help bring about rapid improvement to its urgent and emergency care services, so that patients in the South East can be assured that they are getting the quality care they expect.

About the trust

The trust provides 999 and ambulance services to people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, has been recommended for special measures by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals Sir Mike Richards.

The trust was rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as ‘inadequate’, due to problems with its urgent and emergency care, safety and leadership.

Problems were identified in relation to patient safeguarding, risk management and the systems in place to ensure patient safety, effective leadership and staff culture.

Next steps

We've been supporting the trust to improve how it manages the quality of its care, infection control, workforce and complaints processes. 

Another ambulance trust, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has agreed to provide buddying support to the trust, with practical advice and mentoring from peers experienced in urgent and emergency care.

We'll soon appoint an Improvement Director to provide the trust with additional expert advice and support on the ground to improve the quality of its care, and will consider what further action might be needed to address the CQC's concerns.

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