Care Quality Commission


North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been rated as ‘good’ following an inspection from the healthcare regulator, Care Quality Commission (CQC), in June 2018. 

The inspection resulted in an overall rating of ‘good’ as well as ‘good’ ratings for three of our core services; urgent and emergency care, emergency operations centres and resilience teams. Our patient transport service was not inspected so its rating remains ‘good’. 

Alongside ratings for our core functions, CQC asked ‘is the service well-led, safe, effective, caring and responsive?’ We were rated ‘good’ in all areas which means inspectors found evidence that safety and leadership at the trust had improved since the previous inspection in 2016. 

Highlights from the inspection included the observation by CQC of polite, caring and respectful frontline ambulance staff, holding the hands of patients who were scared and acting with compassion and respect towards patients. In the emergency operations centres, CQC said that staff demonstrated compassion, kindness and respect towards callers and patients, including those in mental health crisis. 

Improvements in the culture of the organisation were recognised with CQC finding that our staff overall felt valued and listened to and had a voice in the organisation. 

Outstanding practice was noted where community specialist paramedics worked as members of multidisciplinary teams and in care homes on preventative measures aimed at reducing the number of admittances to emergency departments. 

Good levels of cleanliness, hygiene and infection prevention and control in ambulance stations and on vehicles were witnessed too. 

In term of improvements, the regulator said we should improve systems to ensure vehicles are safe, clean and ready to go, ensure consistent performance measurement and monitoring across the trust and standardise care for patients with mental health issues as the knowledge of staff was found to be varied.

Read the full inspection report.

Visit the CQC website to read more about our inspection ratings.