About SECAmb

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is part of the National Health Service (NHS).

It was formed in 2006 following the merger of the three former ambulance trusts in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and became a Foundation Trust on 1 March 2011.

We are led by a Trust Board, which is made up of an Independent Non-Executive Chair, seven Independent Non-Executive Directors and six Executive Directors, including the Chief Executive.

As a Foundation Trust we have a Council of Governors, made up of 14 publicly- elected governors, four staff-elected governors and six governors appointed from key partner organisations.

As a Trust, we:

  • Receive and respond to 999 calls from members of the public
  • Respond to urgent calls from healthcare professionals e.g. GPs
  • Receive and response to NHS 111 calls from members of the public

We provide these services across the whole of the South East Coast region - Kent, Surrey, Sussex and parts of North East Hampshire and Berkshire (with the exception of the NHS 111 service).

We work closely with our main partners in the region - 22 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), 12 acute hospital trusts and four mental health and specialists trusts within the NHS, the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and our ‘blue light’ partners - three police forces, four Fire & Rescue Services and HM Coastguard.

As part of the NHS we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It ensures that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and encourages care services to improve.

SECAmb has an overall CQC rating of ‘Good’ (15th August 2019) and are very proud of the outcome of their latest inspection. As you can see in the full report, link below, The Trust’s Emergency & Urgent Care and Service was rated as ‘Outstanding’ overall, as well as ‘Outstanding’ for Caring:

CQC Report August 2019.

SECAmb’s vision and strategy

Aspiring to be Better Today and Even Better Tomorrow for our people and our patients”

It is recognised that a few years ago SECAmb lost focus on what is important but the recent report from the CQC is testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication of all the staff. With the Chair in place for over a year, and the new Chief Executive joining in September 2019, there is an increased level of energy and enthusiasm to build on recent achievements and deliver the ambitious plans to take the future overall CQC rating from “Good” to “Outstanding”.

As we focused on improving across the board, we have continued to deliver our overarching Five-Year Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 (further reading downloadable here). This focuses on a continuous improvement approach to achieving our mission - “To deliver our aspiration of being better today and even better tomorrow for our people and our patients”

The current strategy was focused on delivery of four strategic themes, which are:

  • Our people - supporting and developing our staff and volunteers
  • Our patients - ensuring timely quality of care, in the right place by the right people
  • Our enables - fit for purpose technology, fleet and estates, underpinned by sustainable financial performance
  • Our partners - working with health, ‘blue light’ and education partners

These themes are translated into two-year objectives, which form the basis of delivery of our plan and which are delivered and monitored via five core work streams:

  • Strategy
  • Compliance
  • Service Transformation and Delivery
  • Sustainability
  • Culture and Organisational Development

We have also taken the opportunity to begin to refresh our Five-Year Strategy during the year to take account of evolving internal factors and changing external influences, including the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan and the changing local NHS landscape. This work by the Board and our stakeholders is on-going, and a new strategy will soon be in place (hopefully by the end of 2019).

Our emergent strategy

As we emerge from under the direction of the CQC and grow closer to our system colleagues across the region in response to the integration agenda of NHS Improvement/England and the Department of Health, we are revising our strategy to prepare us for opportunities that benefit patients and will play to our strengths and mitigate risks to our sustainability.

As such, the final details of our strategy are not available at the time of writing, but we are certainly able to articulate the thinking the Board is exploring now.

The context we are operating in is demanding:

  • Funding is scarce and demand and patient need is rising;
  • Our customers (commissioners) are changing with shifts from Clinical Commissioning Groups to a more integrated model;
  • Care moving from hospital into the community setting, and focus on prevention of admissions;
  • Shift in emphasis from number of patient contacts to ‘population health’ which might affect financial allocation and performance judgements; and
  • Considerable uncertainty about the how, what and when of the expected commissioning and performance changes.

Our (very) broad strategic approach is:

  • Maintain and improve our core offering (111/CAS and 999);
  • Develop additional services to complement our core offering;
  • Manage relationships with our changing customers and ensure they know what we can offer.

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