AMBULANCE services in north Hampshire have been given a vote of confidence by their patients.

Patients who used South Central Ambulance Service, which covers the Basingstoke and north Hampshire area, gave the service the thumbs up in a survey by the Care Quality Commission.

The commission, an independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England, surveyed people whose conditions were assessed by ambulance call handlers as Category C – non-urgent or non-life-threatening.

Nationally, 73 per cent of respondents rated the care they received as “excellent” and a further 25 per cent rated it as “good” or “very good”.

Each of the country’s 11 ambulance trusts was scored out of 100 for various aspects of their service.

In most areas, the South Central service scored in the 90s. The score was 95 for the control room operators’ reassurance, 96 for ambulance cleanliness and 95 for overall satisfaction. The service scored 89 for the quality of advice given over the telephone.

South Central’s lowest score was 84 in response to the question ‘Do you think the ambulance service did everything they could to control your pain?’ Luci Stephens, interim assistant director of the service’s emergency operations centre, said: “Every patient is important, and despite these calls not being life-threatening, we are responding to patients who are in vulnerable situations.

“The survey shows we are meeting expectations of patients we serve and providing them with the service they both expect and deserve.

“We are proud of these results and will continue to raise standards further.”

Cynthia Bower, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, added: “It is really encouraging to see that patients are so positive about the way ambulance trusts handle non-urgent calls.

“While more broadly, there are aspects of the ambulance service that need to improve, patients have given trusts a real vote of confidence in this area.”