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CQC issues Warning Notice to South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

18 July 2016
South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ambulance services

The Care Quality Commission has told South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust that it must make significant improvements in the quality of its services.

Following a comprehensive inspection in May, CQC has issued a Warning Notice identifying six main areas of concern for improvement by the trust:

  • The systems in place to ensure enough staff are employed and deployed appropriately are not effective.
  • NHS 111 calls are not always responded to in a timely and effective manner.
  • Processes to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and secured are not adequate.
  • Safeguarding processes to prevent abuse of service users are not operated effectively.
  • The systems in place for medicines management are not operated safely and effectively.
  • Governance arrangements including systems to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of the services are not operated effectively.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

"People who rely South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust are entitled to an ambulance service that is consistently safe, effective and responsive to their needs.

“On the evidence of our inspection we have found that patients were not receiving the quality of care that they are entitled to expect, or within the timescales required.

“We have told the trust that it must improve and treat patients in a timely manner with care, dignity and respect. We have given the trust until 10 September to address these immediate concerns. We will continue to monitor the trust closely, and will be returning in the near future to check that the trust has taken appropriate action to address these immediate issues.”

CQC will publish a full report of its inspection findings in the near future.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Manager, John Scott on 07789875809. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.