Farewell from the email girl: a guest blog from Comms Manager Tara

Communications Manager Tara Rose is leaving the EEAST team next week; but before she moves on to pastures new, we asked her to reflect on her time here at the Trust. Here’s what she had to say…

When I meet a colleague here for the first time, nine times out of 10 this is how the conversation goes:

Me: “Hi, I’m Tara from the communications team, nice to meet you.”

Colleague: “Tara…oh! You’re the email girl.”

Occasionally it’ll be substituted with “you’re the Need to Know girl” (at which point I do an internal fist pump that they know what Need to Know is), but you get the general idea.

It’s not surprising really; in the six years I’ve been here I’ve seen 306 issues of Need to Know, from the two-page green PDF it was when I started right through to this site, and my ‘sent items’ revealed this week that I’ve sent almost 450 all-user emails to you, which on average is more than one a week…yikes.

A lot has changed since email number one (an ops bulletin, where after enthusiastically volunteering to write it I spent about 20 minutes frantically trying to work out what on earth a ‘DSA’ was). Leadership changes, operational changes, clinical changes, communications changes, strategy changes, demand changes – the list could go on.

I don’t really like the phrase ‘organisational challenges’, but the Trust has certainly seen a few of those in the time I’ve been here. But EEAST and its people are resilient. It doesn’t seem to matter what hits the fan or is thrown at us, everyone has an attitude of ‘Right, well that’s not ideal but never mind, we’ll make it work’ and powers on through. It’s one of our greatest strengths, and it’s built on the fact that people here care about what this service does.

Because it’s actually pretty great isn’t it, what this service does? It improves and saves lives, every day. Simple. Every single day that happens across our six counties because of all of you – whatever your role here you play a part in making that happen.

I know it’s difficult to remember that on the bad days when it feels relentless, when you’ve worked for 15 hours straight, when it feels like a constant battle. But the battle really is worth it because what we do here matters.

I’ve had the privilege of doing many shifts in EOC and on the road with patient transport services and emergency ops. Not a single one went by without the people I was with making a difference to people’s lives. And it’s not just the ‘big’ jobs like the cardiac arrests and road traffic collisions, the little things matter just as much; reassuring a mum as we delivered her baby unexpectedly in her front room (a healthy boy, 4lb 7oz); holding the hand of a confused dementia patient throughout our journey to hospital because he was frightened; making a cup of tea and a sandwich for a lonely elderly lady who just wanted someone to talk to.

It’s true what they say about the ambulance service getting under your skin. When one of my student paramedic friends found out I was moving on, he said: “I thought you would never leave - your blood runs green!” Once I’d got over the implication that I’d somehow become part of EEAST’s furniture like a rusty old chair, I realised he was right. Aside from anything else I’ve definitely developed ‘ambulance humour’ (thanks guys), I now bribe everyone with cake, and I pull this face at programmes like Casualty and Holby City every time they do ‘CPR’.

So it’s been a pleasure to play a small part and to share news about EEAST with you all, with the media, with our stakeholders, and with the public. I’m going to claim my excuse for sending you so many emails is that there is a lot to say about this amazing, bewildering, incredible organisation.

I really am going to miss it. I’ve laughed, laughed until I’ve cried, and just plain cried. I’ve made friends for life. I’ve had the hardest of days, and the greatest of days. But I’ve certainly seen the very best of the NHS.

Keep going, keep inspiring, and keep caring.

The email girl.


Tara is part of the Trust’s communications team; responsible for helping people communicate with staff, volunteers, stakeholders and the media; advising colleagues on communication matters; managing corporate social media accounts; running the website, intranet and Need to Know; delivering the Trust awards ceremonies; making content like videos and animations; organising patient meet-ups; and planning and implementing education campaigns - amongst many other things.

If you’ve got a story you’d like to share with them or if you’d like to write a guest blog for Need to Know, please get in touch – they’d love to hear from you.

Published 18th May, 2017

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