Making clinical strides: reflecting on the last 12 months
Head of Clinical Quality, Tracy Nicholls, talks us through the East of England Ambulance Service’s clinical priorities for the coming year, and reflects back on the last 12 months…
On the face of it, I appreciate a ‘Quality Account’ sounds like just another NHS report. So what makes it different from any other that might be published over the next year?
Well, a Quality Account is essentially a way of us here at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) telling you how we’re doing. The beauty of this report though is that it’s all about the clinical care that we actually give to the people we come into contact with. What improvements are we focusing on? What have we achieved over the last year? What do we want to focus on next year?
We need to make sure we’re providing you with the best service we can. The work that goes into this report is year-round to help maintain our focus on clinical quality - and we can’t underestimate the challenges that lie within it.
So what does it tell you about the last year? You might already know that the last 12 months have, nationally, been some of the busiest ambulance services have ever seen. Here at EEAST alone we took more than half a million people into hospital, and we dealt with more than a million 999 emergency calls for the first time in our history. It’s not been an easy year for my colleagues, who have worked tirelessly with passion, commitment and clinical focus to still deliver the best possible care they can.
Yet we’ve still made some great strides in clinical improvements; we exceeded our targets for heart attack and stroke care, and although there’s more we want to do, we also improved our recognition of sepsis, a life-threatening disease that claims the lives of 44,000 a year in the UK.
We also achieved above the national average on clinical outcomes around asthma, mental health and child seizure care. We absolutely recognise that we have further to go on our journey – but we’re still exceptionally proud of what weachieved clinically during 2015/16.
And to plan for 2016/17 we gathered feedback from the public, our colleagues and our stakeholders on what they thought, clinically, we should be focusing on. For 2016/17, we’re focusing on key areas like stroke and heart attack care, timely responses, improving experience for dementia patients, and ensuring we learn from and provide feedback after serious incidents. We’re also keeping our focus on sepsis recognition – we’ve been at the forefront of sepsis work for a number of years now and we want to keep it that way.
I see clinical excellence in this organisation every day, with colleagues who consistently put high-quality care at the very heart of their work; ultimately, everyone here just wants to do the right thing for our patients. It’s something we do, and will continue to, strive for every day.
You can download and read a copy of our Quality Account from the ‘About us’ section of our website.