OFSTED has blasted the East of England Ambulance Service for making "insufficient progress" in safeguarding apprentices.

In a damning report, inspectors found that leaders have been "too slow making changes to improve the safety of their apprentices".

Inspectors carried out a monitoring visit focused on safeguarding arrangements in January. The visit took place following safeguarding concerns.

At the time of the visit, a total of 661 apprentices were studying level 3 and level 4 apprentices with the trust.

The report found that while senior leaders have increased the number of staff in the safeguarding time, the recent changes are said to have not yet stopped the inappropriate behaviour that a significant minority of apprentices still experience.

The report also found leaders and managers don't encourage apprentices to discuss low level concerns that arise and, as a result, managers have an overly optimistic view of the issues that still exist in the service.

Inspectors also found that leaders do not have a robust action plan to ensure compliance with safeguarding arrangements improves rapidly and they don't update staff with safeguarding knowledge in a timely way.

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However inspectors did acknowledge that leaders take swift action when concerns are raised about a member of staff and they fully support managers to establish the culture change needed within the service.

East of England Ambulance Service have been contacted for comment.