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The HCPC responds to NHS England’s culture review of ambulance trusts

22 Feb 2024

In February 2023, a report by the National Guardian’s Office found that the culture in ambulance trusts did not support workers to speak up and that this was having an impact on staff wellbeing and ultimately patient safety.

Following this report, NHS England commissioned an independent review, chaired by Siobhan Melia, CEO, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, to support the improvement of the culture within the ambulance service. The report has now been published and outlines 6 key recomendations:

  1. Balance operational performance with people performance at all levels.
  2. Focus on leadership and management culture and develop the ambulance workforce.
  3. Improve the operational environment, line management and undergraduate training.
  4. Translate the NHS equality, diversity, and inclusion improvement plan into a bespoke plan for the sector.
  5. Target bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment and enable freedom to speak up.
  6. Prioritise, support and develop human resources and organisational development functions.

Andrew Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, commented:

“This is an important report, and we welcome the recommendations to support the improvement of the culture within the ambulance service. We are committed to supporting organisations within the paramedic and ambulance sector to improve the experience of our registrants and patients.

“We have recently completed a review of our standards of conduct, performance and ethics which set the behaviours we expect of our registrants, including over 36,000 paramedics. The revised standards, which have been published on our website, come into effect on 1 September 2024. In the updated standards we have strengthened our language on challenging discrimination, both in relation to patients and colleagues. We have also set out a process around the duty of candour to support our registrants be open, honest and promote learning from when things go wrong.

“It is important that paramedics, in common with all other HCPC registrants, feel safe from any form of bullying, harassment, or discrimination, and feel confident and able to raise any concerns.”
Page updated on: 22/02/2024