PRAISE has been given after the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust was rated good by the Care Quality Commission for the second time running.

The inspection, which took place in February, resulted in an overall rating of good for both the NWAS services inspected, which included urgent and emergency care - the paramedic emergency service and emergency operations centres - where 999 calls are handled.

An outstanding rating was given for the responsiveness element of the inspection of urgent and emergency care.

In the findings report, inspectors praised innovative ways of working with other healthcare services and highlighted how the trust promotes equality, taking a proactive approach to caring for patients' individual needs.

Chief executive, Darren Mochrie, said: "I am delighted to receive a good rating from Care Quality Commission once again and thank the inspection team for their positive feedback which I feel reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff the way we deliver services for patients.

"Our staff are a shining example of the NHS and I am thrilled that they have been recognised for their care and compassion as this is something we are particularly proud of here at NWAS.

"We welcome the outstanding rating for responsiveness in urgent and emergency care, with inspectors praising our equality and diversity as well as collaborative working with partner agencies.

"The inspection took place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic at a time that we were experiencing extremely high demand, averaging about 5,000 emergency calls per day, which makes these positive comments all the more significant.

"There is still work to be done and the report has highlighted improvement points which we will focus on going forward.

"We are committed to our vision to be the best ambulance service in the country and will continue to work hard to be there."

The apprenticeship programme for emergency medical dispatchers was also praised as well as the team of community specialist paramedics who are actively engaged with local services working together to provide an innovative approach to care.