Building Better Rotas: change to voting dates

At the Staff Partnership forum this week (3rd October), it was agreed that the Trust and UNISON will explore options about relief working and planning that the wider ambulance sector is considering implementing.

This means the planned voting at the second half of October will go ahead at a later date so that we can meet other trusts and take a view on whether what they’re working on could be brought to EEAST for staff to consider.

The project is not stopping – rotas will be delivered as agreed in 2019 as an absolute requirement of the commissioning contract and the delivery of the Independent Service Review requirements. The work that will be done imminently on whether other options can be considered for staff will inform final decisions on the rota design.

Staff will also have the final Relief Policy to read before voting takes place, and it’s planned to be shared widely after 18th October.

If you haven’t yet been involved in consultation with Working Party representatives in your area, or want to know more, email, or find in-depth information here on East24. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and supports their representatives in their work.

Published 4th October 2018


We’re pleased to report that we’re already in contact with other trusts to discuss their relief options and arrangements and, for those who have done some early work on options in rotas such as SCAS, seeing if that could be something we adopt as part of the BBR project.

There isn’t a reset date yet for the revised voting period, but whilst we’re taking the opportunity to consider new options which may be more agreeable to staff, the project must come to fruition next year.

The team working on the BBR project plans to provide more information regularly as we go along, but as always visit the dedicated pages on East24, speaking with your Working Party rep, or email

                                       Published 24th October 2018

Please ensure if you are posting a comment, you must include your name in full (first and surname). Thank you.

Whilst I understand the Trust needs to adapt to the changing work-load/environment, I honestly don't feel I could deal with having to drive 50mins to my next nearest station if a relief element is implemented or if I lose my line should I up-skill to Paramedic. I spent the first 4/5 years as a relief and with the current service demand, I don't believe my work/life balance and mental health would cope. Should that day come, I will be seeking alternative employment.
Simon Steadman
07 November 2018

And following on from Martin's comment any further information on what the new relief policy is going to be as it is well past the 18th of October and still no real update and if the trust wants to pick my leave for me (allocate it) then its time to look for a new job.
shaun whittington
29 October 2018

Is there anymore information on what is happening with the Rota Redesign?
Martin Hillier
29 October 2018

I think you also need to consider the work life balance within this rota change not just the relief element. Increasing the amount of days at work with a shorter time period is risking patient and staff welfare. Hence why staff are rapidly leaving the trust. Look after the staff and the staff will look after the organisation.
Lee brooks
05 October 2018

There seems to be a switch from building better rotas to benefit staff and the work life balance to "this will happen as it's an absolutely requirement of the ARP." Staff morale is at an all time low, with uncertain futures in regards to rostas late finishes and a demorolised management team. Experienced staff are leaving, newly qualified staff are going to work in GP surgeries or joining other services. Incidently none of our departing staff have had an official exit interview so you can better understand the reasons behind what appears to be a mass exodus from an already poorly staffed service. We have a huge deficit in staff, way below the level required to implement these changes. Why didn't we just make the relief contracts more desirable, fixed rest days with fair fostering. More staff would be happy to remain relief providing a flexible workforce to cover the required shifts. Many people are working lines they don't like as the relief contract is so bad, make it better and they will gladly move across. We don't need consultants to tell us when our busy periods are we just need motivated respected staff with a satisfactory work life balance. You will also atract the harder to reach demograph such as parents into the service who currently don't want to join due to poor leave prospects and poor conditions. Patient care surveys are always outstanding and the trust refers to this when in a corner, if moral drops any lower inevitably care to patients at the front line will be compromised. We need to look after our prized assets not encourage them to leave. We all understand the need for change and evolution but this could have been much more effective with a few easy changes. With the way the staff feel currently, God help us this winter.
Ben taylor
05 October 2018

Since staff who have a rota line are, by definition not relied staff, can they be assured that they will not be required to sign a new contract, and that on this basis the relief policy does not apply to them?
Mark wade
04 October 2018

It's quite simple. If you don't listen to staff, then soon enough you simply won't have any.
John Morgan
04 October 2018

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