Leadership message from Juliet Beal, Director of Nursing, Clinical Quality and Improvement

Juliet Beal

Welcome to the first leadership message of 2021. As we start the New Year and a new lockdown, EEAST and the NHS are once again one at the forefront of the fight against COVID. I know it’s tough at the moment at home and at work, so I want to highlight some of the positives up front.

We know in the ambulance service that you can never be complacent, but I want to take a moment to highlight our performance over the last two weeks. EEAST has provided a resilient and safe service for our patients during a really challenging time. On top of this, we have been a strong player in the wider health system, able to provide valuable mutual aid to other ambulance services and NHS trusts. This partnership working has meant that more of the sickest patients have got the care they need faster.

Of course, we are only able to achieve this thanks to EEAST staff and volunteers. This is why it is so important to protect yourselves by following all the COVID safety protocols. We have and will continue to promote why this must be done - but it may be more powerful to hear the reasons why from one of our frontline staff.

Julie Barnes, a vehicle technician and workshop supervisor who works for EEAST in Herts and Bedfordshire, has shared her experience of COVID and long COVID in this short video.

I want to thank Julie for her honesty in sharing the immediate and ongoing impact of this disease. Julie wanted colleagues to hear her story so others wouldn’t have to live it. It is powerful and real. At the end, her message is simple: “wear a mask, wash your hands...I don’t want anyone else to go through this.”  I am sure you will all join me in wishing Julie a full recovery.

In wider news, the new lockdown measures are now in force and we are putting in place our contingency plans to manage staffing levels. We will also continue to update you on plans for vaccinations for you as frontline staff, which is a major part of the Government and NHS’s plans to get on top of this latest phase. 

While the focus is on COVID at the moment, the leadership is also focused on putting in place the improvements identified in the CQC’s September report and your feedback from the harassment survey. We will have a new update for you on this later this month. Please also remember we have significant investment under way this year - for example new technology rolling out to improve your working environment and give our patients a better experience. Again, we will share this and other progress throughout the year through these messages, your line manager updates and the #WeAreEEAST staff briefings.

Thank you

Juliet Beal
Director of Nursing, Clinical Quality and Improvement


Published 7th January 2021