South East Healthwatch respond to CQC inspection of South East Coast Ambulance Trust

29th September 2016

The Care Quality Commission have today published the results of their in-depth inspection of South East Coast Ambulance Trust which provides emergency ambulance services across the South East and NHS 111 and Patient Transport in Surrey.

Inspectors have recommended that the Trust be placed in Special Measures. 

The inspection has highlighted a series of serious concerns including:

  • In some cases, there were not enough staff meaning those that work for the ambulance trust were under extreme pressure and overly tired
  • The Trust was not meeting national targets for ambulance response times
  • 111 calls were not always responded to quickly enough
  • Equipment was not always maintained or supplied
  • Culture of bullying and harassment
  • Leadership was not supporting the staff to work properly

The inspection did praise ambulance staff for working hard during difficult situations and the care staff provide is rated as ‘Good’ throughout the Trust.

Healthwatches across the South East have been working closely with the Ambulance Trust for many months and will continue to do so in the wake of today’s announcement.

Commenting on behalf of all the six South Healthwatches, Kate Scribbins from Healthwatch Surrey said, “Naturally we are extremely disappointed to hear today’s announcement.  Our ambulance trust has hit the headlines on several occasions in recent months and not for positive reasons. It is now imperative that the Trust works with patients and local Healthwatch to make immediate improvements and that the public are reassured.   People reading this can help in two ways.  Firstly, please share your experience of the ambulance service with us and secondly to volunteer with Healthwatch and help to improve services.”

Call Healthwatch Surrey on 0303 303 0023 (local rate) to share your experiences of health or social care services in Surrey or email


For more information, email  or call 07545 433465.

To read the CQC report in full go to: