Balancing patient safety and staff wellbeing (update regarding meal breaks, IX and the staff support desk)

EEAST RRVs and amb on scene

At a review meeting between the Trust working group and UNISON just before Christmas, it was agreed the late finishes and meal break trial would be extended further, with a view to determining if it is possible to make these measures business as normal.

The current trial will continue for a further 12 weeks and will include:

  • The IX definition will reduce from 30 minutes to 15, ensuring more crews can be included. The Trust will continue to ensure that patient and staff safety remain paramount in ongoing decision making and the Trust Gold will maintain daily oversight to ensure this balance is achieved
  • The IX is defined as if the travel time back to base results in a late finish greater than 15 minutes, the crew will be booked out of service as “Intelligent X-ray”.  They will then only be available for a small number of higher acuity calls, if they are the closest or only available resource.  The calls included in IX are; confirmed and predicted Red 1; Hot 1 back-ups, and a small number of agreed higher acuity (confirmed) R2 code sets  
  • These additional R2 code sets have been evidenced as increasing R1 for the purpose of IX from 3% of calls to 5% of calls. This has been evidenced against current call data from EEAST
  • Of the 150 crews placed into IX in November, only five calls have been tasked to crews in IX. These calls were all cardiac arrests
  • The new IX definition commenced on 3rd January (Tuesday) and will be evaluated jointly by the Trust and UNISON against a range of criteria.   

The meal break changes will continue and patient facing staff on the road will continue not to be tasked to Green 2, Green 3, Green 4, or any urgent calls during the interruptible part of their meal break. This in effect removes over 50% of calls from that period, ensuring more crews get improved meal breaks.

Other measures such as handover for long distance transfers, swapping of crews on-scene where clinically appropriate, and at acutes will also continue, to help to reduce late finishes.

The trial is currently managed by an interim staff support desk, based in Norwich EOC which currently operates on a regional basis.

The trial staff support desk can be contacted directly in relation to late finishes or welfare issues on 01603 888327. As always, your local managers, HR managers and staff representatives are also available to you.

Published 5th January, 2017

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