Late finishes, morale and wellbeing: you said, we did

Ambulance line up blue sky

At the tail end of last year we ran a survey to get your views on late finishes, wellbeing, and morale.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to give your feedback. The full survey results are available here on our website.

Wellbeing and morale

Using the survey results, and other feedback Chief Executive Robert Morton has received, the Board will implement a cultural audit to take a look at the EEAST culture. That covers everything from our assumptions and values to how people behave, and should help us get a concrete idea of what it good, and perhaps more importantly, where the issues are. We are finalising the programme for this audit, run by an independent company, and a group of staff have been involved in making sure we get this right first time, including our union colleagues.

Late finishes

We know that there isn’t just one solution that’s going to resolve the problem of late finishes - ambulance services across the country are facing exactly the same problems as us. The Trust will continue to work with everyone involved to find the best possible solutions for our staff and our patients.  Indeed, the work we’ve done and the changes we’ve made are far more progressive and proactive than any of our service colleagues. Some of the steps we’ve introduced/are introducing are:

  • changing our end-of-shift policy so we only send crews to Red 1 or Red 2 calls, our most life-threatening, in the last hour of their shift
  • enabling crews to call EOC and ask for a Green or urgent call in their last hour, if they want to
  • allowing crews to request changeover on scene or at hospital, so they can finish on time
  • the development of a pilot, which is being trialled in Luton, where we are changing the start and finish times on rotas to see if they have an impact on reducing late finishes
  • the idea of actively managing late finishes in EOC; this would mean having a dedicated person in control whose job is to manage crews back to their own areas so they can finish on time, i.e. having an input into what resource is sent to what job, and when. A meeting was held between the senior operations team and Steve Imrie, Unison Chair, to discuss this idea earlier this week
  • continuing to recruit patient-facing staff so we can better respond to our patients
  • tackling the issue of 111 Red referrals with our commissioners, and hospital delays with acutes
  • looking at our operating model and how we manage our calls in EOC; this is so we get to a point where we only send ambulances and RRVs to patients who genuinely need a physical response. We’ve already made progress in this area by increasing the number of clinicians in our EOCs and our GP triage trial.

As you can see, much is being done, and we know we will need a number of different solutions to reduce late finishes long-term. What we need to do is make sure that we balance these against the ability to provide a quality, safe, and good clinical service to our patients.

Published 21st January, 2016

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