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Care Quality Commission praises ‘highly skilled’ air ambulance service

A new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlights the exceptional work of The Air Ambulance Service, which provides the national Children’s Air Ambulance and two local air ambulances – Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) and Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA).

Inspectors spent two days reviewing the Children’s Air Ambulance and WNAA at Coventry Airport, and DLRAA at East Midlands Airport. The report praises WNAA and DLRAA services for being “doctor lead and highly skilled”, and refers to a “high level of paramedic critical care expertise”, supported by an effective personal development system, a range of clinical skills development opportunities and specialist clinical operating procedures.

The CQC, the independent regulator of health and social care in England, also describes the organisation’s leaders as having the “skills, knowledge, experience and integrity needed to ensure the vital service meets patient needs”.

Commenting on the findings, The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS) Chief Executive Andy Williamson said: “I’m delighted with this report; it clearly supports our purpose by recognising the high quality of emergency and urgent care that we deliver.

“These findings are a testament to the dedicated, professional and passionate teams that work in the delivery of our lifesaving services and to those generous people who support the charity through the giving of time or donations.

“Providing the very best care for our patients is the driving force behind everything we do and this report reflects that. Everyone involved should be immensely proud.”

Patients have access to timely and critical care treatment, the report details, while care is delivered in a “sensitive and dignified way and feedback from patients is very positive”. It also refers to the “clear vision and strategy” of the organisation.

All services are described as has having an “open and learning culture which is fully focused on safe, high quality patient care”. Staffing levels and skill mix are planned and reviewed to ensure that people receive safe care and treatment at all times, and staff are fully engaged in service planning.

Commenting on the report, TAAS Director of Operations Richard Clayton said: “I am absolutely delighted by the CQC inspector’s findings. The published reports are a great reflection on a lot of hard work by the entire operations team that works tirelessly to provide exceptional patient care in often very challenging situations.

“It’s fantastic that the inspectors were able to see and articulate the passion and commitment that exists within everyone at The Air Ambulance Service.”

Dr Steve Hancock, Lead Consultant Paediatrician at Embrace, the NHS transport team for new-born babies and children in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: We have worked with Children’s Air Ambulance for a number of years now to transfer some of our patients quickly and safely over long distances. They have always had high quality provision of healthcare at the centre of what they do and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the CQC.”

  • The full report is available by clicking here and here.

Our helicopter can fly at speeds of up to 185mph – meaning that distances can be travelled about four times faster than by road.

185mph
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