MP to meet trust chief

7 May 2015.....Huddersfield election count 2015. Jo Cox.. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1008/36n
7 May 2015.....Huddersfield election count 2015. Jo Cox.. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1008/36n

Batley and Spen’s MP will meet Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s chief executive after a health watchdog decided it requires improvement.

Jo Cox will discuss the issues outlined in the Care Quality Commission’s report when she meets Rod Barnes.

The report described problems with reponse times, recruitment, due to a national shortage in paramedics , unclean ambulances and a lack of checks on equipment.

But the CQC also noted that the service was good in its caring approach – patients were treated with compassion and dignity by staff, who communicated effectively.

The report reads: “In thefirst two quarters of 2014-15 the trust had performed worse than the England average, rarely getting over 70 per cent of Red 1 calls responded to within eight minutes.”

It continued: “When we visited the resilience team, including the hazardous area response team service, we found that there were governance failings to ensure that the equipment, including lifesaving equipment and consumables were safe to use.” Equipment was found to have passed its expiry date.

“The vehicles used for a regional response also were unclean – both the exterior and interior ofthe vehicles.”

Following the inspection in January and February, the trust has been told it must ensure all ambulances and equipment are appropriately cleaned and infection control procedures followed; that equipment and medical supplies are checked and are fit for use; and ensure that all staff are up to date with their mandatory training.

Jo Cox MP said she was “very concerned” about some of the findings. “However I am pleased that the CQC has recognised our service as being caring across the board. This is a deserved acknowledgement for the hard working and dedicated staff of YAS. These are some of the most committed public servants there are, and work under incredible pressure to save lives, day and night.”

She added that the government are imposing a 10 per cent cut in the ambulance fleet and five per cent cut in staff by 2018. “How can this be right at a time when locally and nationally the service is facing severe challenges in recruiting and training sufficient staff numbers to meet rising levels of demand?”