Shropshire Star

West Midlands Ambulance Service downgraded as patients forced to wait longer for ambulances

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been downgraded from outstanding to good after inspectors found patients were waiting longer for an ambulance.

Last updated
West Midlands Ambulance Service has gone from outstanding to good on CQC ratings

West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust provides an emergency ambulance service to 5.6 million people in the Black Country, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire.

Although WMAS's rating fell, it is still the best in country for answering 999 calls but in the category 'Effective' it dropped from outstanding to requires improvement.

Charlotte Rudge, CQC deputy director of operations in the Midlands, said: “External challenges across the healthcare system meant that ambulances were queuing for hours at accident and emergency departments due to handover delays at hospitals, which impacted on people’s care and wellbeing.

“This resulted in longer response times for people calling an ambulance, it also had a negative effect on staff, who were doing their best to provide safe care and treatment to people."

However, Ms Rudge was impressed with the leadership of the trust.

She said: "When we inspected West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, we found leaders had the skills, knowledge and experience to run services well.