The Board received a presentation from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) NHS Trust, updating them on the key issues arising from the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) inspection report published in January 2017, together with any specific issues for the Halton population when resources spent time out of area.
Members welcomed Michael Huddart, Head of Regulatory Compliance; and Matthew Dunn, Consultant Paramedic, who delivered the presentation on behalf of the Trust.
Resulting from the presentation the following points were made in response to Members’ questions:
· Part of the recruitment procedure of Polish and Finnish paramedics included English Language testing; so all those recruited from these countries were fluent in the English Language;
· The difficulties in recruiting paramedics was a national issue and not unique to NWAS:
· The effect on recruitment from abroad following Brexit was unknown. It was noted that the recruitment of foreign nationals would not be long term and that the service needed to focus on the encouragement of a skilled workforce in this Country;
· Links with universities had been established to promote the need for paramedics and it was important that existing staff were supported with training and gaining qualifications as well;
· Within the recommendations there were 31 in the ‘must do’ category and these were being dealt with; they were very complex however and it was difficult at this point to say how far along they were at the moment;
· The CQC would be carrying out another inspection in the future which would be unannounced;
· There was no improvement in Halton’s emergency response times and the number of calls had increased.
RESOLVED: That the Board welcomes the presentation and notes the contents of the report.