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Your spotlight on local services

London ambulance service out of special measures


London Ambulance Service (LAS) is out of special measures following 'marked improvement', inspectors reported  this week.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said there had been 'significant improvement' in the trust's culture with staff more able to raise concerns and feeling supported.

Inspectors said staff went 'above and beyond' their expected duties  to meet patient needs.

Patients were treated with 'a calm and professional manner, with kindness and empathy', affording patients privacy and respecting their dignity. Staff worked collaboratively with others including patients and the public.

Placed in special measures in 2015, LAS is now rated 'overall good' following a CQC inspection in March 2018.

LAS recently won the contract to run NHS 111 integrated urgent care services for more than 1 million people in north east London, including City and Hackney.

Inspectors rated LAS outstanding for 'being caring' but warned it needed to address staff shortages in emergency centres and gaps in staff knowledge and confidence dealing with people in mental health crisis.

Professor Ted Baker, England’s chief inspector of hospitals, said the trust had innovated by introducing new services such as its 'hear and treat' service which provides clinical assessments over the phone to callers with less serious illness or injury.

Professor Baker said: 'The improvements the leadership and staff of LAS have made are especially commendable, and especially necessary, given the major incidents the trust has responded to over the past year, including terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower tragedy.'

LAS covers 620 square miles and is the largest ambulance service in the country and one of the busiest in the world. The service runs emergency and urgent care operations.

In 2016/17 LAS responded to over 1.8 million 999 calls, attending 1.1 million incidents including  major events, and increase of 6.6% on the previous year.

The trust has  5,500 staff, 65% of whom deliver services to the public on the frontline. Read the full CQC report here.



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