South East Coast Ambulance Service

Paramedic Steve Andrews describes the scene at the Shoreham air crash as one of "utter devastation"
One of the first paramedics to attend the Shoreham air crash describes the scene as "utter devastation".

Secamb aims to leave special measures

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) hopes to come out of special measures within a year, county councillors have been told.

SECAamb ambulance
SECAMB

The trust, which covers Sussex, Surrey, Kent and parts of Hampshire, was placed in special measures in 2016 after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), over issues including bullying and delayed response times, which inspectors said put patients at risk.

It was still rated inadequate in 2017, before being upgraded to requires improvement in 2018, with the CQC recognising that 'significant progress' had been made.

At a meeting of West Sussex County Council's health and adult social care select committee on 16 January, members received an update from Secamb and examined a report into the work being done.

SECAmb call response centre
SECAMB

When it came to response times, the committee was told that the trust was "well within the national averages" for the most severe emergency calls, such as cardiac arrests and traffic accidents, but Jane Phoenix, Secamb's deputy director of strategy and business development, acknowledged that response times for the less serious categories, such as fractures, falls and diabetic problems was "not good enough".

Five taken to hospital after minibus crash

Sheerness minibus crash
Swale Weather

Fire crews had to rescue a trapped car driver after a crash with a minibus in Sheerness.

The driver plus four occupants of the bus were taken by ambulance to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham - two as "priority patients", according to South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).

A spokesman said injuries included a head injury and back pain.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said crews had to cut the roof off the car to reach the driver, who was trapped inside.

Part of the coastal road was closed while police, ambulance and fire crews dealt with the crash, shortly before 10:00 GMT.

A SECAmb spokesman said the driver of the minibus separately attended a minor injuries unit.

No details of any of the casualties' conditions have been given.

Sheerness minibus crash
Swale Weather

Ambulance boss to leave troubled trust

Mark Norman

Health Correspondent, BBC South East

Daren Mochrie
BBC

The boss of the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) is to leave the troubled trust after less than two years in the post.

Daren Mochrie was appointed chief executive in April 2017, seven months after the service was put into special measures.

He is to leave at the end of March to take up a post at the North West Ambulance Service.

His departure will leave staff uncertain about the future of a trust that serves nearly five million people across Brighton and Hove, East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, and North East Hampshire.

Last week, a Care Quality Commission report questioned whether recent improvements were sustainable.

Secamb
BBC

The trust has been struggling for the past few years.

In May 2016 its then chief executive, Paul Sutton, resigned after he was found to have authorised a covert policy which delayed sending help for some emergency call-outs.

Later that year it was put in special measures - rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission with the reasons including putting patients at risk.

Then in August 2017, an independent review revealed the trust had a culture of bullying and harassment - with concerns over "toxic" atmospheres.

Extra funding for Secamb to improve patient care

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

Secamb
BBC

South East Coast Ambulance service is set to receive £30m of extra funding over three years to improve capacity and patient services.

The service, which covers Kent, Sussex, Surrey and north-east Hampshire, has been in special measures since 2016.

The money will be spent on increasing staff numbers and improving its fleet to ensure it has the right number and type of vehicles to respond to calls of all types.

The additional funding was secured following an independent review that looked at demand for and capacity to deliver ambulance services.