AvMA reaction to report on South East Coast Ambulance Trust scandal

Published: 15 Mar 2016

The first of three reviews into South East Coast Ambulance Service’s pilot scheme which put thousands of patients at risk and has reportedly caused considerable avoidable harm has been published today.

AvMA is shocked by the degree of poor governance at the trust which allowed this scandal to happen. Whilst it is clear that the chief executive’s role was pivotal and his role in leading an NHS organisation must be in question, the lessons apply to the whole board and also to the NHS as a whole. AvMA are concerned that such a serious scandal has been left in the hands of the trust itself to investigate albeit at the command of the regulator Monitor.

AvMA chief executive Peter Walsh said:

“It should not be possible in a modern NHS for a scandal of this nature to happen, especially since the Mid Staffordshire enquiry. The report reveals a complete disregard for good governance and worst of all, patient safety. We are disappointed that the investigations are not more independent and wide ranging than they are, and in particular the review into the outcomes for patients needs to be dealt with much more urgently. We are surprised not to have received any calls from patients/families about the fact their health may have been compromised, and suspect people are not being told where to go to for independent advice.”