WEST Midlands Ambulance Service is one of the best in the country.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the service as ‘outstanding’ following inspections last summer which looked at emergency and urgent care, emergency operations centre, patient transport services and resilience.
The trust is currently the highest target performer across all ten ambulance trusts in England and has continually met required response times over the past year.
WMAS serves a population of over 5million, covers 5,000 square miles and provides services to 26 NHS trusts. It also responds daily to some 3,000 ‘999’ calls.
WMAS chairman, Sir Graham Meldrum said: “This is an excellent start to 2017 not only for our staff and volunteers but for the people of the West Midlands.
“It is an inevitable fact that, every single day, people will call 999 for help in their hour of need. The CQC report shows that patients are receiving the highest standard of care and compassion from our staff as well as providing appropriate care in the right place and at the right time.
“Despite the challenges faced by the NHS and the heavy demands placed upon the ambulance service, the Trust will continue to focus on patient care.
“I am very proud of all of you who provide such an excellent standard of service.”
And WMAS staff were found to be outstanding in the way they supported patients and their families who were distressed and overwhelmed – during the inspections one staff member arranged for a patients’ cat to be cared for whilst the patient was in hospital, which made them comfortable with leaving their home for a hospital stay.
The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richards, added: “I am extremely pleased to announce that West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is the first ambulance service in England to receive an outstanding rating.
“As demand for emergency care grows year by year, our ambulance services have never been busier. I know the trust is at the forefront of national improvements in the ambulance service, exploring better ways to deal with emergency calls so that people get appropriate care in the right place at the right time.