Issue - meetings

North West Ambulance Service

Meeting: 13/01/2010 - Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (Item 5)

North West Ambulance Service

To receive a presentation from representatives of the North West Ambulance Trust on the re-inspection by the Care Quality Commission and the latest position with the Foundation Trust application.


The Ambulance Trust will be represented by Sarah Byrom, Director of Performance and Patient Experience and Tim Butcher, Assistant Director Performance Improvement.




Sarah Byrom, Director of Performance and Patient Experience and Tim Butcher, Assistant Director Performance Improvement, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) briefed the Committee on Infection Control and the Foundation Trust application.


NWAS had received an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in July 2009 of its infection control procedures; a Warning Notice was issued and an Inspection Report outlined specific areas for improvement.  NWAS already had 92 Infection Control Staff Champions, a Specialist Paramedic of Infection Control and over £100,000 investment into the deep cleaning of vehicles.  These measures were strengthened by:


*      A comprehensive audit programmed to ascertain cleanliness levels;

*      A deep clean of all vehicles that was completed by the end of September 2009 – this meant the vehicle was taken off the road and all fixtures and equipment cleaned using specialist materials, this was undertaken every 6 weeks;

*      An on-going programme of deep cleaning;

*      A review of all procedures and training/learning materials for staff;

*      Recruitment of 3 more Infection Control Specialist Healthcare professionals.


A follow up inspection was carried out by CQC on 3 November 2009 and NWAS was declared fully compliant.  The Trust was committed to maintaining high levels of cleanliness and had an Audit Programme to ensure continuous monitoring of levels and a mandatory staff training programme in place.


The Foundation Trust status was still a priority for the Trust who had revised the timeline to enable a focus on delivering performance.  NWAS was committed to a comprehensive public consultation which would focus on vision and values, future direction of travel, governance and membership.  The consultation would be carried out using various methods including using existing forums and meetings, specifically targeted events, staff engagement and website and electronic communication.  The current programme was to submit the business plans and financial model in April 2010 and consultation to be undertaken between July 2010 – September 2010; this would see a potential authorisation date of April 2011. 


Members discussed the presentation and raised the following points:


*      What standards of cleanliness applied to subcontractors?  In response the Committee was advised that the same standards of cleanliness applied to all providers and monitoring procedures would be advised to a future meeting;

*      The target membership for Foundation Trust status was 8000 including staff;

*      What progress had been made in relation to the Nantwich Co-Responders/First Responders scheme?  In response, the Committee was advised that there was a strong commitment by NWAS to resolve this issue and a Working Group had been set up, chaired by the Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust, an update would be made at the mid point meeting;  NWAS had around 3500 successful Community First Responders Schemes in the North West;

*      NWAS would try to attract membership as part of its Foundation Trust application from a wide variety of groups and it was suggested that the Youth Council be consulted about engaging young people.


RESOLVED:  That the update from the North West Ambulance Service be noted.