Ambulance service improvements 'must be made'

Call centre
Image caption Call centre staff have been commended for their 'outstanding professionalism'

Improvements must be made to the ambulance service in the South West, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

South Western Ambulance Service's systems for "caring" were rated as outstanding but other areas required improvements.

These included emergency and urgent care provision and patient transport.

The inspection was carried out in June after a previous CQC report which found the trust's 111 service was inadequate.

In the latest findings inspectors also raised concerns about call centre staff being too busy to report verbal abuse from the public.

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'Fair' report

Among the areas requiring improvement, the report said the trust had to ensure "work intensity and fatigue" was monitored to mitigate risks to staff.

It also said controlled medicines had to be stored securely in ambulances and cars when crews were not present.

The ambulance service covers the greater South West of England, including include Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Chief Executive Ken Wenman said the report, which rated the service overall as "requires improvement", was fair.

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