Developing our people – an update from CEO Robert Morton (15th October)

Robert Morton ambulance OPT

Over the last week I have visited a number of stations, including Royston, Welwyn and Stevenage and met some of our MPs in Westminster.  One of the themes that has continually cropped up since I joined the Trust is about the opportunities we can offer our staff to develop their skills and careers. This is about your development and also how we can better use your skills to treat patients closer to home.

I recognise that over the last 18 months the Trust has focussed a lot of its energy on recruiting new staff. Clearly this is the right thing to do, given the scale of the patient facing vacancies and we will need to continue to recruit more people over the coming year.  However we also need to retain our staff and help them develop their skills and careers.  As such I was really pleased to hear about and meet colleagues such as Jamie, who joined the Trust four years ago as a vehicle cleaning operative. Jamie has since trained as an emergency care assistant and recently completed the initial training on his way to becoming an emergency medical technician; a great example of how we should be embracing our staff and helping them develop their skills and careers.

I also closed a Graduate Paramedic induction course in Writtle and was very impressed with the group.  We will need to attract many more graduate paramedics in the future and one of the things that should attract people to us is the development opportunities we offer and how we are an innovative and creative organisation working closely with our partners across the health and care spectrum to deliver care seamlessly.

And of course this is about every area and department of the Trust and I was delighted that we heard that we had won the North Essex patient transport service (PTS) contract this week – a contract we had, but which has doubled in size. I truly believed that we are the best placed to run PTS, as it is inextricably linked with our role as an ambulance service. I also believe that as new pathways and services develop locally, that PTS will be able to play an ever greater role in helping us get patients to the treatment services they need which will be ever  more dispersed in the community. It also enables us to attract more staff into the ambulance service and we need to work hard to open up pathways for those PTS staff who want to move into the 999 service.

Next week, Wednesday 21st October at Quendon Hall in Essex, we are holding the first of a series of staff engagement events  to get your views on how we can develop the Trust and our culture. Places are going fast, so if you haven’t applied for yours yet please email with your name and the area/department you work for. I am especially interested in looking in more depth at our culture, and this will help as we decide whether we need to carry out a more formal organisational health check or culture review.

Following on from this in early November I am hosting a round table discussion with our emergency care paramedics and critical care paramedics to talk about how we can better use their skills to treat patients closer to home and help reduce the pressure on the 999 service.

With best wishes,


Published 15th October, 2015

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