Update from CEO Robert Morton (13th October): Celebrating staff achievements and fantastic team working

Robert Morton, CEO

I had the privilege last week of meeting and honouring hundreds of staff and volunteers at our long service, graduation and celebration ceremony at Duxford. It was truly awe-inspiring to hear about the many achievements and contributions made by our staff and I couldn’t have been prouder. Thank you to everyone who made nominations for CEO commendations and special awards; the quality made the judging by our directors very difficult, and my congratulations go to all those shortlisted for those awards. I’d also like to take this time to thank the award organisers, in particular Gail Huggins and Joy Hale from the communications team. It was a night to remember, celebrating some truly inspirational individuals and teams who make such a lot of difference to people. You can read the full write up of the EEAST awards on Need to Know, and watch a short video giving a taster of evening on the Trust’s YouTube channel.

We have recently secured money under a CQUIN scheme to rollout our Emergency Call Advice and Triage Centre (ECATC). The centre will enable us to increase the volume of calls we triage, with a view to help patients through ‘hear and treat’. We hope to get the scheme rolled out to EOCs shortly.

Last week, we began the ‘Dispatch on Disposition’ element of the Ambulance Response Programme Scheme. The national pilot aims to give patients a more clinically appropriate response to anyone who calls for our help, and so far the pilot is going well. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with implementing it; it is too early to say what the outcome will be, but it is an important step for the Trust in informing a possible change in response time targets. I will keep you up to date with how the pilot progresses via Need to Know. We have also successfully gone live with LOWCODE, an upgrade for PSIAM. LOWCODE will be an important piece of our ECATC infrastructure which will help us to increase our Hear and treat rates and reduce responses to patients that do not require an emergency response. Thank you again all involved.

This week I met with councillors at the regional health overview & scrutiny committee (HOSC) and updated them about our CQC report and our response.  I also took part in the Trust business continuity exercise.  There was some great learning, particularly within EOC, which we can take forward. Thank you to Ian Crowson for setting this up.

With the dark winter nights drawing in and daylight saving about to end, it’s important to keep safe on the roads when traveling to and from work. A few driving safety pointers include: check the expected weather conditions before you drive, don’t focus on on-coming vehicle high-beams, keep your eyes moving, adapt your driving, slow down and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front and make sure you can be seen and turn your beams on in good time. I realise these are common sense, but it can help to keep you safe.

Earlier this week, I visited Felixstowe station, met with the ‘blue light flashers’ and tried out chips on the seafront. The group of colleagues from Suffolk have decided to ditch the uniforms and bare all for a calendar to raise money for charity in memory of our former beloved colleague Gary Smithen. The funds from the calendar will be going to two charities providing cancer care in Ipswich. Well to done to everyone involved.

I also encourage everyone to get the flu jab so that you can protect yourself, your colleagues, your families and our patients over the winter. I will be getting mine next week!

Today (13th October), I visited the leadership and development course in Biggleswade and met with the programme leaders. I found them to be very inspiring and it was great to hear about the new skills and knowledge that they can put into practice. I also had a good catch up with some staff on their breaks. I particularly wish one member of staff (she knows who she is) well on her travels around Australia.

Finally, I have told about a PTS crew who were on one of our renal vehicles last night and attended a patient who had collapsed at the walk in centre at Colchester’s primary care centre. After Ambulance Care Assistant (ACA) Katie and Patient Transport Driver (PTD) Peter successfully resuscitated the patient, they were taken to Basildon and is believed to be doing well. This is fantastic news to hear and I want to thank both Katie and Peter. It’s a great and timely reminder that although PTS attend planned jobs, they stand ready and prepared to help a patient when they need it most.

Have a good week.


Published 13th December, 2016

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