This week's leadership message from Lindsey Stafford-Scott

Lindsey Stafford-Scott 040419

This week we are focusing on our CQC theme of ‘Effective’, this means different things to different people. It is great to see how much work is ongoing to ensure our care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, helps us to maintain quality of life and is based on the best available evidence. We do this in so many ways.

We are working more closely with higher education institutes across the region. With Anglia Ruskin University we are developing an accredited Practice Educator Programme. We are rolling out a 'train the trainer' approach to upskill existing staff to deliver the training at a local level. The one-day programme needs to be delivered to approximately 300 Newly Qualified Paramedic’s (NQP) over the next year with our aim to roll out from June 2019. We’re continuing to work with the University of Hertfordshire to provide a two day accredited Practice Educator Programme and we’re also working with University of Suffolk on a free programme.

There has been a concerted effort by all teams across the Trust to complete our new approach to appraisals; compassionate conversations. From your feedback, we know we need to do better, with only 46% of staff having had an appraisal in the last 12 months. If you haven’t had your compassionate conversation, please speak to your manager to arrange. Over 400 managers have been trained to deliver compassionate conversations. The course is still available - information can be found on Evolve - our new learning management system.

To grow our workforce and develop our people, I’m pleased to report that we are now running Apprentice Emergency Care Support Worker (ECSW) courses. We’re also continuing to recruit to the Apprentice Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) roles. 

Feedback on the new apprenticeships has been great and I had the opportunity to meet some of our trainees at Welwyn Garden City last week who were full of enthusiasm and praise for the excellent training provided by our training teams. 

The new Apprentice Paramedic, which is at degree level, is being developed nationally with all Ambulance Trusts and, subject to HCPC approval, will be commissioned nationally. It is hoped that it will become available from January 2020. This will replace the current DipHE Paramedic Programme allowing an Apprentice career pathway from band 3 – 6. We also continue to work on a move to advanced practice, and will be contacting our Specialist Paramedic colleagues soon to discuss the way forward.

We know you are passionate about learning from incidents and ensuring we build this into adopting best practice approaches to delivering care.  Recently, following engagement through NHS England and their work stream on deterioration, we have issued NEWS 2 cards and we would ask that if you have not yet received one, please see your local manager. NEWS 2 aims to recognise a deteriorating patient and has been introduced on the back of our ongoing work for recognition of Sepsis, but in truth it can be used for monitoring patients in any setting and for handover of care to other healthcare professionals. Updates on the changes from NEWS to NEWS 2 can be found in the clinical update on East24 and there is a podcast that you can listen to if you want to learn more about it.

We are also piloting Schwartz rounds which are due to start in the next few weeks. The response to us putting this in place has been incredible and gives us an opportunity to work with all of our staff and volunteers across the organisation and also enables us to work with system partners, to share how the emotional impact of working in healthcare affects us all across the system.

The Schwartz rounds will enable all our people to have the time and space to reflect on their roles.

I would encourage you, in whichever directorate you are in, to take part in these as they focus on the challenges and rewards of providing care to our patients - not to solve problems or focus on clinical aspects.

This week, the Patient Safety Team ran another Learning from Incidents event at the University of East Anglia. These events are important for us share and embed our learning, but also aims to reduce clinical variation in the areas discussed. The next event is planned for 24th April at the University of Suffolk, to book your place please email

I have joined UNISON and other colleagues on an ACAS mediation training course this week. This is part of our commitment to develop a more informal approach to dealing with conflict and disputes in the workplace, to deliver better outcomes. The training was commissioned by our raising concerns group who are working hard to learn from your feedback, to develop a more supportive culture across the Trust. I am proud to be our Executive sponsor for this work and look forward to putting the training into practice in the coming months, as we build on the positive progress we have made with UNISON as a result of the partnership working review.

Sadly we said goodbye to another of our colleagues, whose funeral was held on Monday. George Walsha was a long-standing EMT from Luton, who recently lost his long battle with cancer. His colleagues cared for him with great tenderness in his final days and there was a huge turnout on Monday to remember him. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.


Published 4th April 2019

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