Six counties and 7,500 miles: An update from CEO Robert Morton

Robert Morton ambulance OPT

It’s been more station visits for me this week as I steadily make my way around the 7,500 square miles of our region. Compared to making my way around the 370,000 square miles of my old patch in south Australia, this seems like a more favourable challenge!

I’ve dropped into Ipswich, Colchester, Great Notley,  Longwater, Norwich office, and Norwich EOC on my ‘rounds’, and have also spent some time meeting with our commissioners, so I’ll try to cover just a few of the headlines.

I had lots of good conversation with our people in Ipswich and Colchester about the need for us to have a really strong, clinical focus. I appreciate that’s a broad brush that covers everything from how we use our people like ECPs, or clinicians in EOC for example, right through to making sure that professional updates are useful and valued. But we should always ‘think clinical’, and it’s my job to make sure you’re all empowered, supported and trained in making robust clinical decisions. One example that keeps cropping up is around confidence in non-conveyance – so we need to make sure there’s good quality, remote support that you can access 24/7. Clinical care is our bread and butter and we have to make sure we get that right.

And the commissioners I’ve met so far are really supportive in helping us get into that clinical space. Over the next few weeks I want to involve them and stakeholders, our own people and some other key players in two round table discussions – one around ECPs and how we use them (to which our ECPs will of course be invited), and another on community first responders. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved,

It was great to meet our people in patient transport services this week. They make up a huge arm of our service, and I want to look at how we can integrate them better with those working in frontline A&E. We need to use the people and resources that we have available to us really well, and link in with other organisations that can help us do that too; I’ve so far arranged to meet two of the six fire services with a view to asking if they’re prepared to work with us more closely in a response capacity, and I’ll feed back to you on that as soon as I can.

One thing that’s apparent is that there has clearly been a lot of pressure on you all for a long time; I have some concerns about the number of people that have contacted me about serious issues that have been left unanswered or dragged out rather than being dealt with in a timely way. That said, I need to take some more time myself to consider whether these are isolated, or actually reflective of the culture as a whole. Thank you everyone for your honesty in coming forward, and thank you as well to all of you that have emailed me directly with warm words of welcome to the Trust – it’s very much appreciated.

Next week I’ll be saying hello in Southend, Basildon, Thurrock, Cambridge (including PTS), Huntingdon and west Herts ambulance stations, meeting our CFR strategy group, and doing some clinical work on stroke. Hope to see some of you on my travels!


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