Ambulance service in new cost-cutting move to find value
SOUTH East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) has formed an alliance with South Western and West Midlands trusts to improve efficiency.
There are no plans to merge services or restructure existing operations, but they say it will make every pound of taxpayers’ money work as efficiently as possible.
Savings will be made through the joint procurement of supplies, including equipment and fuel. In addition, the three will work collaboratively to share best practice for the benefit of patients and staff.
They will also work on improving resilience between the organisations for planned events and major incidents.
The Care Quality Commission reported in November that SECAmb would remain in special measures despite showing improvements in care.
Inspectors said although some areas had improved, it was ‘too early’ to judge if the improvements were sustainable.
A spokesman for SECAmb said the service was ‘aware there remains work to be done.’
The trust, which covers Kent, Sussex, Surrey and North East Hampshire, was previously rated inadequate following inspections in 2016 and 2017.
The rating has now been upgraded to requires improvement.
Inspectors found although staff were well-motivated, there were staff shortages which had an impact on both worker and patient safety,
The report said: ‘On emergency calls, the trust was above the national average for category one and two response times, for people with life-threatening injuries.
’However, some patients classified as category three or four were at an increased risk.’
Daren Mochrie was appointed SECAmb chief executive in April 2017, seven months after the service was put into special measures.
He is to leave at the end of March to take up a post at the North West Ambulance Service.
Announcing the new alliance forged on November 20, Mr Mochrie said: “This is the right thing to do for our patients and our staff.
“By forming this partnership, we will be able to bring together the knowledge and experience of three trusts.”
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