Leadership message from Paul Marshall

Transcript from Paul Marshall, Head of Operations Suffolk & North Essex 18th June 2020 

Hi, my name is Paul Marshall, and I’m the Head of Ops for Suffolk and North Essex, and I’ve been asked to put together a short leadership message to share with you. But before I talk anything EEAST related specifically, I would like to talk about discrimination, which is very pertinent at the moment. And I want to make it very clear that there is no room for discrimination in work or out of the workplace. If you’ve been discriminated against, if you know someone who has been discriminated against, even if you haven’t been discriminated against, we must come together to stamp out any discrimination where we come across it. And we must support those who have been discriminated against. It doesn’t matter if the discrimination was on race, religion, sex, gender, or any of the other protected characteristics, it doesn’t matter, we need to stamp discrimination out. So, please, if you have any concerns, speak to your local managers, who I am positive will support you and find you the help you need. Together, we can stamp it out.

Moving on the EEAST related issues, and Covid-19 at the moment, the response that we have put together. One of the things that we have started recently, very successfully, is the antibody testing. It is so impressive the amount of people that we have tested, the team that have put it together – amazing, thank you very much, you’ve done a great job. It is something we have been asking for in the NHS for a while, so it is really good that it is here now, and we’re getting some of those answers. Could I just remind you, though, to read the guidelines. Those people that are doing the testing and taking the blood, read the guidelines, the PPE guidance out there, Covid-19 is still very, very around, very live, and prevalent, and we must take those precautions. So please make sure you are aware of what PPE to wear, when to wear it, and make sure that you are protecting yourself and the people you are taking blood from. Just take a minute to read about those guidelines.

And talking of Covid-19, we are still trying to get this social distancing right on the stations. It’s still a concern, and I’m sure you will do what you can. But I understand the difficulties whilst you carry out your work, and we want to ensure that we support you where we are able to. So, this means being careful using the kitchens on stations. If there are a number of people in there and you need to wait a minute until someone comes out, then let’s just wait a minute, let someone come out before you go in there. If there’s too many people on station, raise the alarm, speak to AOC’s, see if we can do something to try and allow you to practice social distancing on the stations where possible. I’m not suggesting that it will be easy, and I’m not just suggesting that we can resolve all the concerns and issues, but by doing it together, we will do our best, and we’ll minimise the risk where possible whilst we’re still responding and giving the excellent service to our patients that we do.

Talking of patients, since I’ve been in the Trust we’ve often been on the wrong end of our patient responses for our most time critical patients and I’m really proud to say that at the moment, you’re doing an incredible job. Whether its shaving a few seconds off your immobilisation times, or clearing at the hospital slightly quicker, or just being in the right place at the right time, you’re doing an incredible job at responding to our patients. And for those time critical patients, we are getting there in the quickest time that we have ever done, that I’m aware of since I’ve been in the Trust, giving them the best opportunity to survive and improve their health with your efforts. So, thank you very much for that, it is truly brilliant, it really is.

Not so brilliant, is the results from the staff survey, which doesn’t make for good reading. The results are not where any of us would want them to be. But it is important that we do read them, and understand some of these issues. Personally, I am very disappointed. Not disappointed in staff, but disappointed that staff come to work feeling that they are not supported, come to work feeling that they are not engaged with, feeling that they are not able to speak up, not able to do what they want to do. It is so disappointing, but by working together we can improve this. So locally we will be coming out to our areas, talking to out management teams, putting together some actions. But it won’t just be the managers putting these actions together. We’ll be talking to the representatives from those stations. The LOMs will be connecting to it and putting in suggestions. So look out for any opportunity to engage with that, in the action plan coming out of the staff survey. Because it is important that we are all in this together, that we support each other to improve the workplace for everybody, to improve engagement where we can, to improve the support where we need to and make sure that everything is fair and reasonable, and people can come in to work knowing that whatever happens, they’ve got the support, they’ve got the engagement and it will be a better place for all of us. I’m a real believer that we all have to work, and what we should be doing is supporting each other whilst we’re at work, and it doesn’t matter who you are, we just need to support each other and make sure that people are happier.

On supporting each other, the other week was mental health awareness week, and one of the themes, I think, was kindness. I absolutely support mental health awareness week, it’s fantastic, and there is more we can do, and need to do, to support people with mental health concerns or issues. I don’t understand why we need to have a week to say be kind to each other, it should be what we’re doing anyway. And I think most of our staff, most of you guys and girls, are kind people, that’s why you are in the job. So I will just say, in this current climate at the moment, in this funny world we’re living in, just take a moment to check on your colleagues, ask if they’re ok, truly listen to what they are saying, to make sure that they are ok, and look out for each other. Be kind to each other, support each other, that would be my plea.

Finally, thank you again for the sterling effort you’re putting in to patient care. You’re doing an amazing job, you’re an amazing bunch of people, and it is an incredible job that you do out there day in day out, so thank you very much for that.

Thank you.

Paul

Published 18th June 2020

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