Leadership Message from Sarah Boulton

Sarah Boulton

We have come to the end of a two-day core service inspection by the CQC, and it has been a time to reflect on the progress we have made since their last inspection, just over a year ago. I really must thank all of you for the hard work you have put into preparing for this visit, especially the teams that have been inspected.

All of this work is crucial if we are to deliver our #WeAreEEAST vision is to be ‘Trusted to deliver compassionate care’. We have taken a number of actions and introduced new initiatives - many of these have been introduced by Dorothy. As CEO, she has acted upon what she has heard from you when visiting all parts of our patch to develop actions that are designed to improve your situation.

At Board and executive level, we have forged a closer connection to your local team through the monthly accountability reviews for each of our six sectors.

It has been great to hear directly from your teams about achievements and challenges locally, for example we have heard just how many more Stemi, stroke and heart attack patients your team has helped. I have also visited a number of stations to observe your safety huddles and have seen for myself the focus you put on the patient here.

We know from last year’s report that, at times, morale was low and we saw that message reflected in the annual staff survey results. Clearly, we need to do more to support you and that work is underway. One of the things that makes your job challenging at times, is when there are not enough staff available to deal with the levels of demand. So, we have a number of initiatives to increase our workforce numbers, and we are regularly monitoring these to ensure the numbers do go up. We haven’t forgotten about retaining existing staff and have programmes in place to support your health, wellbeing and development, so that you feel well supported in your roles.

There are a number of other improvements that we are working on including the People and Vehicle Support Hub (PVSH) to offer support to crews and Intelligent X-Ray to help address late finishes. We are reviewing the Patient Transport Service (PTS) and introducing new ambulances from May. But rather than detail all of these projects, I want to assure you that the Board is committed to supporting you in your roles and enabling you to deliver consistently high patient care.

Without great people, we cannot deliver great care. We need to support each other as part of our EEAST family.

I was reminded of this recently with the very sad news about Neil Barrett, who worked at the Kempston station. My thoughts – as yours will be – are with Neil’s family and EEAST colleagues at this very sad time.

Thank you again for all that you do every day and for your continued commitment to EEAST and to our patients.


Published 12th April 2019

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