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Quality is Top of the Agenda at Ambulance Trust Board Meeting in Whitby

26 July 2013

Attendees at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Board meeting held in public in Whitby (23 July 2013) were given an insight into the importance of the quality of the services provided by the Trust and the latest achievements and developments.

Associate Director of Quality Karen Warner and Head of Quality and Patient Experience Hester Rowell outlined the work they do to understand and learn from patients about what it feels like to use the Trust’s services.  Their presentation highlighted how the Trust manages complaints and concerns, including the patient survey programme, and what is subsequently done to address any issues. Two patient stories illustrated examples of best practice and areas requiring improvement.

For the first quarter of 2013-14, the Trust has achieved the national response standards for its emergency service. From 1 April 2013 to 30 June 2013, emergency ambulances reached 78.3% of the most seriously ill and injured patients within 8 minutes and 97.7% within 19 minutes (the national response standards are 75% and 95% respectively). 

As this region’s provider of the NHS 111 service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service Chief Executive David Whiting confirmed at the meeting that the service was now fully rolled out and commissioners are assured that the Trust is providing a safe, good quality service for patients contacting the urgent care helpline. 

The Trust Board also discussed the progress of its Foundation Trust application and confirmed that the Trust Development Authority (TDA) would be making its quality visit in early August 2013.  Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s application is now expected to be reviewed in autumn 2013 and passed to Monitor, the healthcare regulator, for authorisation in 2014.

Commenting, Yorkshire Ambulance Service Chairman Della Cannings QPM, said: “Whilst response times remain an important part of how we are assessed, the quality of care we provide to patients is of paramount importance and an essential part of our governance. There’s nothing better than direct feedback from patients to help us see what we are doing well and where we need to do better. This applies to all of our services whether it is a 999 response, a Patient Transport Service journey to a hospital clinic or telephone advice from our new NHS 111 service. Our staff are committed to providing the best care for patients and quality is at the heart of everything we do.”

The next Trust Board meetings to be held in public will take place on:

  • Tuesday 3 September 2013 – Yorkshire Ambulance Service Headquarters, Wakefield (Extraordinary Board Meeting)
  • Tuesday 24 September 2013 – Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield (also Annual General Meeting).

If you would like to attend the meeting please register your interest by emailing corp-comms@yas.nhs.uk or telephoning 01924 584035.

Notes to Editor:

1. The Trust Board is legally responsible for the leadership, direction,control and risk management of the Trust and its main responsibilities include:

  • setting the strategic aims of Yorkshire Ambulance Service in order to meet organisational objectives and review management performance
  • setting the Trust’s values and standards to ensure its obligations to patients, the local community and the Secretary of State are understood and met
  • active leadership of the Trust which enables risks to be assessed and managed
  • working in partnership with key stakeholders and being ambassadors in promoting the success of the Trust.
The Trust Board meets in public every two months which ensures that the Board’s decision-making process is open and transparent. In addition, the Board meets at least once a month to develop ideas, look at the greater detail of issues and undertake further work.

After each Trust Board meeting held in public, the minutes are posted on the Trust’s external website for everyone to access: www.yas.nhs.uk/AboutUs/Governance.html

2. Yorkshire Ambulance Service is holding its public Trust Board meetings at various locations across the region in a move to engage with local communities and to give people the opportunity to find out more about its work.

3. The Trust covers almost 6,000 square miles of varied terrain from isolated moors and dales to urban areas, coastline and inner cities and provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to a population of more than five million people. The organisation receives an average of 2,180 emergency and urgent calls per day and employs over 4,600 staff. Our Patient Transport Service makes just under one million journeys per year transporting patients to and from hospital and treatment centre appointments.

Issued by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Press Office

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department