Air ambulance praised in inspection report

The region’s air ambulance has been praised by inspectors for its “strong commitment to deliver the best care possible”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its quality report into the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), which operates across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

A team of inspectors visited the charity’s Durham Tees Valley Airport and Langwathby bases in March. This week, their findings have been published.

CQC inspections in 2011, 2012 and 2013 had previously reported that the service was meeting all standards of quality and safety.

This latest inspection and report confirmed that the charity had continued to deliver the very highest standards of critical care and in addition had further developed and introduced greater patient centred improvements.

They found:

  • The service was proactively engaged with initiatives to enhance patient care and develop and improve services
  • Staff showed compassion, dignity and respect towards patients and their families
  • The culture within the service was supportive. High quality patient care and service development and improvement was encouraged and supported by senior leaders
  • Leaders were experienced, knowledgeable and showed enthusiasm while performing their roles
  • There was a culture of continued learning, openness and honesty

The CQC has praised the charity’s innovation in developing a tailor made computer system which records all patient contact and treatment given. This is used to audit clinical outcomes in order to improve services further.

It recognised the charity’s national role in training doctors in Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM), and also its commitment to research projects such as the introduction of blood and plasma on board the aircraft and a soon to be published study on the clinical impact made by the air ambulance.

Grahame Pickering, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “This demonstrates the dedication of all staff and volunteers in ensuring the service delivers a world class pre-hospital care service for the people of the region.

“But in order to do this, we need the public to keep supporting us where they can. We could not continue to fly without them.”

GNAAS is a charity and relies on the support of the public to survive. Last financial year, it cost £5.1m to keep the service running. To find out how you can help, please call 01325-487263 or visit

The full report is available to download here or at




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