Leadership message from Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall

The summer holidays come to an end we enter a period of relative normality before winter. I say a period of normality, but nothing is ever ‘normal’ in the ambulance service - there is always something happening, something new to experience, a particularly challenging patient or an interesting multi agency incident - all whilst we are still operating at REAP level 3 (Resource Escalation Action Plan).

This REAP status often means the postponement of Compassionate Conversations, FFP3 fit testing or some training important to you individually. This withdrawal of elements outside core business is a difficult decision for us to make, as we are balancing the needs of the patients waiting for an ambulance with our commitment to support you, our staff.

In recognition of this, the senior management team have decided to ensure that we are able to fulfil our commitment to staff development and support staff, within agreed parameters, even when the Trust is operating at elevated REAP levels.

We want our staff to have a meaningful compassionate conversation every year, to be protected from flu over winter and to feel informed, safe and able to perform their duties. Therefore, we must find the time to support staff to achieve all of these to contribute in supporting outstanding care for patients and confirming our investment in you, our staff.

When these challenges arise, we all do our part in delivering the care that’s required, but sometimes it is important to remember that there is a huge team behind the response to our patients;

from the call handler receiving the call, the dispatcher ensuring the quickest and most appropriate resource is assigned, the clinicians in AOCs overseeing some patients, the make ready operatives that have prepared the resource for the crew, the planners who have ensured we have the crews available and suitably crewed together, to the crew themselves who arrive as soon as possible to take care of the patient. Whether we work in finance or cleaning the station, we are making sure that the crew, PTS and A&E, have the best opportunity to deliver the outstanding care we are so proud of throughout the whole of the year for our patients.

Winter is fast approaching and we're already planning for the winter ahead of us. Will there be another ‘Beast from the East’ as some forecasters are suggesting? Or will we have a relatively mild winter? We all wish we knew the answer to these questions but, regardless, we will put together a robust plan to support our staff on the front line in AOCs, PTS and A&E and we will be working with system partners to ensure that all of those individual plans align and make us ready to tackle whatever winter throws at us. This is all done in order to keep our staff and patients safe.

Thank you all for your continued support and commitment to EEAST, I am very proud to be a small part of the team and you should be incredibly proud of your contribution to delivering the outstanding care our patients deserve.


Paul Marshall
Head of Operations (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough)

 Published 12th September 2019

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