Our current quality position
Like last year, I wanted to take a moment to remember all our colleagues in the NHS and those in the wider communities that have been affected by COVID-19 Pandemic. After two years and counting the impact and pressures on our people and the NHS continues and is likely to be long lasting. I am humbled to see how the quality of health care and the continued response of our Trust; its staff and volunteers and the wider health and care community has enabled us to continue delivering our services to patients during this challenging time.
Over the past 12 months the Trust has had the ambition to continue to improve on previous years, by focusing on enhancing the quality of life for all, with the aim to improve our patients’ experiences of care they receive and support their recovery from ill health or injury, in a safe and supportive environment. Whilst this has been a challenge during the pandemic and remains now, I am confident that the Trust and its staff and volunteers are committed to delivering this ambition whilst dealing with the pressures the NHS are currently experiencing which is affecting direct patient care.
At the time of my writing my statement, the Trust is currently being inspected around its core services. The last core inspection rating provided was Requires Improvement overall and inadequate for ‘Well Led.’ Since the previous inspection, the Trust understands the reasons for the rating and are collaborating hard with our staff, commissioners and regulators to ensure that the CQC and NHS England/ Improvement’s improvement notices and action plans are met.
Further information can be found within the Care Quality Commission page of this report.
I am encouraged to see that upon review of our progress against this year’s priorities, the Trust has again for the second year exceeded the national ambulance average quality indicators for heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest survival to discharge (Utstein comparator). In addition, the ambulance care quality bundles for chest pain, stroke and sepsis have seen an improvement in timeliness and response to the most critical patients which evidences our focus on providing the best care to our patients.
An area, that still requires more focus is fully adopting and embedding the Learning from Deaths within the Ambulance Services recommendations from the National Quality Board. The Trust has continued to meet the timeframes around implementation and have now begun to link further work around the emerging Patient safety Incident Reporting Framework (PSIRF) which also launches this year.
Due to the pressures around COVID and the ability to utilise all clinicians effectively to meet the demands placed on the Trust, the decision was taken to pause the launch of the new Urgent and Emergency Care Strategy. The strategy is closely linked to the work underway with the national urgent and emergency care work and the work of the Integrated Care Systems to reduce conveyance to ensure patients have the best care in the right place. It is hoped that this will be fully launched during the coming year.
However, work on the clinical strategic principles on 1) providing individualised safe and effective patient care to improve outcomes, 2) deliver innovative evidence-based practice through quality improvements methodology and 3) supporting and developing our staff and volunteers; are evidenced wherever possible within the quality account.
The safeguarding team capacity has continued to grow and as a result the management and level of referrals being made has not reduced but the quality referrals has increased with positive feedback from Local Authorities and other partners. This has been achieved by the permanency of the Social Worker Speciality within the team. Building on the success of the expansion of the team, it has been great to see the Trust develop and introduce a suite of Safeguarding multi agency training working in partnership with regional Police Forces that has been adopted by Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and NHS England/Improvement with endorsement from the College of Paramedics and the CQC.
Building on the Trust reorganisation of integrated governance and linkage to the Trust Annual report, I remain confident that with the adopting of the ‘making data count’ methodology and continued development of the Integrated Board report, the Board, Commissioners and Regulators will have greater assurance on the quality of EEAST’s clinical care.
Finally, I do not underestimate the size of the task ahead of me and there is much work still to do but, closing all but a few the CQC and NHS England/Improvement improvement plans and transitioning to how we secure and embed these changes will assist the Trust in cementing there is an improved and sustained culture of continuous quality improvement, along with developing a respected and honest learning organisation, one that people are proud and happy to work for most importantly provide the best quality of care to our patients.
Director of Nursing, Quality and Improvement
Next Page: Care Quality Commission (CQC)