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Agenda item

London Ambulance Service - Performance update


Peter Rhodes, London Ambulance Service, was present for discussion of this item and made a presentation to the Committee.


During consideration of the report the following main points were made –


·         Following the inspection in March 2017, the LAS moved from an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’, which is a tremendous achievement and recognises the efforts of people across the service

·         The Care of Patients in once again rated as ‘outstanding’

·         Amongst the CQC’s key findings is that staff went above and beyond their expected duties, in order to meet patient needs

·         The CCQ report also found that people working across all parts of the service demonstrated care which was consistent to the LAS values

·         On the well led element of the inspection, the CQC found strong leadership, and more widely also highlighted the expertise in the care of the maternity and mental health patients

·         There has been significant progress since 2015, from a position of an    inadequate overall rating and being placed in special measures, to a good overall rating in 2017/18, and removal of special measures. Significant progress has also been made against all of the 2017/18 quality priorities

·         The new LAS 5-year strategy introduced its new vision to build a world class ambulance service for a world class city, and exists to provide outstanding care for all its patients. The strategy also aims for the LAS to be a first class employer, valuing and developing skills and the diversity and quality of life of people, to provide the best value possible for the tax paying public, and to partner with the wider NHS and the public sector, to optimise healthcare and emergency services provision across London Borough of Islington

·         Patients are playing a larger role in the integrated 111/Integrated Urgent Care provision across London, integrating 999 and 111 call answering, and clinical support to provide better and faster care. In addition, the LAS works with patient groups, and other providers, to introduce more specialised models of care for a greater proportion of its patients, and priority services. There is also a need to reduce unnecessary conveyancing of patients to emergency departments

·         In terms of staff, the LAS is seeking to recruit and retain talent, improve engagement, and recognise and reward excellence

·         In terms of public value, as previously stated the LAS is integrating 999 and 111 call answering, and this will provide a more cost effective service. Pioneer services will reduce unnecessary hospital conveyances, delivering savings for system partners. In addition, there will be a detailed internal programme of work, to implement the recommendations of Lord Carter’s review into unwarranted variation within the NHS, and there will be a new partnership with South Central Ambulance Service

·         The LAS work closely with a range of NHS Partners across London, including STP’s, CCG’s, Mental Health and Community Trusts, NHS England, NHS Improvement, and the CQC. There are a number of joint priorities including, increasing usage of alternative care pathways, reducing conveyance to emergency departments, and reducing handover delays at hospitals. Work also takes place with the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade, as well as other ambulance services around the country. In addition, work is also increasingly taking place with other public sector bodies, including the Mayor, TfL, and the local authorities

·         It was noted that ambulances for Islington were sited at the one ambulance station at Brewery Road, and recruitment figures were positive

·         Discussion took place as to how LAS deal with mental health patients and it was stated that this depended on the severity of the patients mental health.  There is a target of 1 hour to respond to these calls and a flow chart was used to assess whether patients were likely to cause themselves harm

·         Members congratulated the LAS on their improved performance

·         Members noted that there is now a suite available at Whittington Hospital for mental health patients, which is preferable to them being treated in A&E

·         In response to a question it was stated that staffing levels were good in Camden and Islington, however 1 in 6 staff were from abroad, and it was not known as to whether Brexit would affect recruitment/retention levels of staff


The Chair thanked Peter Rhodes for his presentation

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