Healthwatch Surrey responds to warning issued to South East Coast Ambulance Service

20th July 2016

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) that it must make significant improvements in the quality of its services.

Following a comprehensive inspection in May, CQC has issued a Warning Notice identifying six main areas of concern for improvement by the trust

  • The systems in place to ensure enough staff are employed and deployed appropriately are not effective.
  • NHS 111 calls are not always responded to in a timely and effective manner.
  • Processes to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and secured are not adequate.
  • Safeguarding processes to prevent abuse of service users are not operated effectively.
  • The systems in place for medicines management are not operated safely and effectively.
  • Governance arrangements including systems to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of the services are not operated effectively.

The CQC have told the trust it has until September 10th to address these immediate concerns.

Peter Gordon, Chair of Healthwatch Surrey said:

“We are concerned that the CQC has found the ambulance service has not consistently provided the safe, effective, responsive care that the people of Surrey need and are entitled to.

It is important that the trust now demonstrates its ability to provide good quality care and that it responds to feedback from the public. With this in mind, we will be working closely with the Ambulance Trust, its commissioner and our regional Healthwatch colleagues to make sure this happens”.

CQC will publish a full report of its inspection findings in the near future.

Healthwatch encourages anyone who is concerned about treatment they may have received from the Ambulance Trust to get in touch for free, and in confidence, on 0303 303 0023 or by visiting the website



For more information, email  or call 07545 433465.