THE Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) is an organisation which is "heading in the right direction," according to a new report by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

The independent regulator of healthcare in Wales conducted a review of how effective the trust’s governance arrangements are in promoting safe and effective care.

It found that the trust had fostered a "more open and supportive culture" which had been embraced by staff, but that more work was required to ensure it was embedded right across the organisation.

It noted that there had been improvements in the management of complaints and serious adverse incidents, in particular how quickly these are responded to, and highlighted the need for the service to sustain this level of improvement.

It also found that the trust’s approach to shared learning was helping it to become a more "supportive organisation."

“We have found WAST to be an organisation with effective leadership in place in relation to concerns and incident management.

“It is clear that strong leadership is helping to promote a culture of learning which was previously underdeveloped within WAST.

“Overall our review findings indicate an organisation that is moving in a positive direction.”

The HIW observed a quality, patient experience and safety committee meeting as part of its review, scrutinised data and also interviewed colleagues over a two-week period.

Mick Giannasi, the Welsh Ambulance Service chairman, welcomed the findings but said the trust would not be complacent.

“This report amounts to a positive endorsement of the way the trust’s governance arrangements support safe and effective care and of the emerging organisational culture and behaviours which underpin that,” he said.

“More significantly, it’s a positive endorsement of the leadership which chief executive Tracy Myhill and her team are providing to the organisation, and of the systems and processes which executive director Claire Bevan and her team have put in place to improve the quality of service provided on the frontline, and the patient experience.

“There is more work to do and we acknowledge and embrace the challenge ahead in terms of keeping up the momentum and establishing changes.”