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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 11:32 GMT
Ambulance staff 'not kept informed'
Staff were praised for alerting hospitals to chest pain patients
Managers at Sussex's ambulance service have been criticised for not keeping staff adequately informed.

The Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) published a report on the Sussex Ambulance Service NHS Trust on Wednesday.

Inspectors said the trust's management needed to improve communication with staff and members of the public.

Systems to report potential risks and near misses also had to be developed so staff had regular feedback.

Industrial action on pay

This would ensure lessons were learnt across the organisation.

The criticism has been made at a time when many ambulance staff are engaged in industrial action over pay and conditions.

But the report did say the trust was making encouraging progress in bringing in new systems to improve patient care.

Staff at all levels were "caring and committed to improving the quality of patient care", inspectors said.

Chest pains alert

The trust was praised for its initiatives with other healthcare providers to improve service to patients.

One example was ambulance crews alerting hospitals in advance when bringing in a patient with chest pains.

The quality of staff training was also recognised in the report.

Peter Homa, chief executive of CHI, said: "The staff of Sussex Ambulance Service Trust are to be commended for their commitment to providing high quality patient care.

"However, there are still improvements to be made to improve the overall experience of the patient."




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