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Top marks for ambulance service

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The ambulance service for Hertfordshire has been named as one of the best in the country for the fourth year in a row. Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance and Paramedic Service NHS Trust (BHAPS) received a maximum three-star rating for the fourth consecutive year from the Healthcare Commission, last week.

This makes the service one of just five ambulance trusts in the country and the only NHS Trust in the county to get three stars.

An organisation that retains the same star rating as last year is likely to have improved their overall performance, since tougher targets were set to reflect the improvements in services that patients expect.

Trusts were measured according to targets such as emergency call performance, finances, clinical focus and patient focus.

Obtaining another three-star rating means that BHAPS will continue to have a greater autonomy in the running of its affairs.

Will Hancock, the trust’s chief executive, said: “I would like to thank everyone within the service for their continued hard work and commitment throughout 2004/5. I am very proud that our trust was able to maintain its three-star status, especially during a year in which we saw a significant increase in demand for our services. This made the achievement even more noteworthy, it was a real team effort.”

Maria Ball, chairman of the trust, said: “We are fully aware of the hard work that has helped us maintain our three stars, and this is a reflection of the continued hard work and real commitment from all our staff.”

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