A week of positive feedback: update from CEO Robert Morton (12th May)

Robert Morton, CEO

I’ve been pleased to have the chance to meet and speak to Lord Prior, along with our Trust Chair Sarah Boulton, at our Longwater depot; Lord Prior is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Health and he was interested in particular in what we’re doing to build on our positive NHS staff survey results. I was glad that he also took the time to talk to colleagues who were at the depot to get their insight into ‘life at EEAST’ – thank you all for taking time out of your day to give feedback.

We’ve had some well-deserved positive feedback all round this week, with the publication of our March patient experience report. The results speak for themselves, but it’s a great privilege to see patients refer to colleagues as ‘professional’, ‘reassuring’ and ‘second to none’. I’d also like to share some individual feedback, and say thank you one of our leaders; Ali Jay, one of our supervisors in Essex, has absolutely exemplified the values and behaviours that we’re trying to embed in our everyday lives here at EEAST. Well done and thank you Ali, I am proud to have you as a colleague.

You’ll be aware that our Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection is now complete, and I’m pleased to say that there were no areas of concern raised with the Trust as a result of the unannounced inspections. This is a fantastic testament to everyone who pulled out all the stops to address some key issues which arose during the announced part of the inspection, e.g. medicines management, vehicle cleanliness, and the storage of clinical records on vehicles. We expect the draft report will be shared with us in July for a matters of accuracy check. It is unknown at this stage when the final report will be made available.

One piece of feedback we did receive during the CQC visit was around providing better support for our leaders; I am meeting with groups of managers to discuss our future direction on this, but one thing we’re considering is a Combined Leadership Academy with our other blue light counterparts in police and fire. Collaborating together can only be a good thing and it’s important we take those opportunities; you will I’m sure be aware that we’ve started a co-responding scheme with our fire service colleagues. We had feedback this week of a case near Colchester where the fire service played a crucial role is helping us achieve a ROSC on a patient. This is what it’s all about - working together for the best of our patients and communities, and I look forward to seeing further blue-light developments take shape. I want to thank Wendy whom has worked tirelessly on this as well as her colleagues whom have supported our CFRs in her absence.

All of these things come together to help improve and better our service. Discussions are continuing with our commissioners about the investment we want and need so we can improve our performance this year and then begin the move to our new operating model to be a more sustainable Trust in the future. During my leave last week, executives Sandy Brown and Rob Ashford did a great job on representing the Trust at a key meeting with NHS England and NHS Improvement. The result of that is that we have been given preliminary approval to proceed with our Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to improve services to patients. This will mean securing additional PAS and Agency Paramedics while we continue to build our own capacity. While details still need to be finalised on the longer term plans to recruit more patient facing staff, our procurement team are working very hard to source the additional capacity we need right now to ensure we can keep our SAP programme running and still provide services to patients. We have some very challenging weeks ahead in June, August and September when SAP abstractions will be very high.

Protecting our service to patients has to be at the forefront of everything we do, which is why we’ve taken the decision to implement our 30-minute hospital handover measures from 6th June. Hospital handover delays continue to be a huge problem across the whole region; in simple terms, this measure will mean that if a crew has been waiting to hand over a patient at hospital for more than 30 minutes, and a 999 call comes in for which they are the closest resource, the crew can be instructed to leave the patient at the hospital and respond if the risk to the patient in the community is greater. The measures may seem extreme, but we must make sure that we, and our patients, don’t suffer as a result of extensive hospital handover delays.

Have a good week,


Published 12th May, 2016

Leave a Comment
Name (required)
Email Address (required, never displayed)
Enter a message

(all comments are moderated - your submission will be posted on approval.)