Leadership message from Steve Catley

Steven Catley
Steven Catley

Firstly, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our staff and volunteers for your continued hard work and commitment in delivering an excellent service to our patients particularly during a period where we have seen high demand on our Trust. I also hope you’ve had the opportunity to spend some quality time with your families during the lovely weather.

The community response team provides leadership for the community first responders, military co-response and coordination of community access defibrillators. As the lead for the team my role is to embed the newly developed community response strategy and responder policy to meet the Trusts needs in line with the future operating model. The team comprises of four community response managers (Jon, Andy, Alex and Tom) who provide direct leadership to group coordinators and volunteers within their respective areas and Rebecca who supports the CRM team and volunteers.

We’ve been celebrating all things ‘volunteer’ over the past few days as part of the national Volunteers’ Week 2019. You may or may not be aware that the 1st to 7th of June is dedicated to volunteer’s week; this provides an opportunity for organisations to thank those volunteers for their fantastic work and continued commitment

At EEAST we have 1,500 volunteers in a range of roles; 

  • Community first responders
  • Military co-responders
  • Critical care charities
  • Community engagement group
  • Volunteer patient transport drivers
  • Chaplains

During Volunteers Week we have held a number of afternoon tea parties within our AOCs and at Melbourn HQ. Look out for Andrew Egerton-Smith, Non-Executive Director, who will be saying thank you to volunteers in a video on NeedtoKnow tomorrow.  

Last year alone our CFRs attended 22,347 calls and provided a staggering 427,547 hours of availability which is an amazing achievement and just shows the positive impact our volunteers contribute on our patients, their families and our staff.

Our Interim CEO, Dorothy Hosein said:

“Volunteers are absolutely essential to the day to day running of our service, so we really do owe you all a huge thank you for everything you do for us.”

To all those that volunteer and to those staff who support them, I would like to thank you for the dedication and time you all give to EEAST. It takes an exceptional person to be a volunteer whether it is a role within the community or one that helps support EEAST in another way.

As part of our future direction we are looking to develop our volunteer groups further and make use of evolving technology as well as encouraging communities to establish lifesaving equipment (Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)).

In the next two weeks you will see information on how to join our launch of GoodSAM across the region in June. GoodSAM is alert app that could improve the survival chances of people in cardiac arrest.

In the meantime, if you would like to know more about community response or would like to express an interest in supporting volunteers then please do contact the team at EEASTCFRS@eastamb.nhs.uk

Finally, the community response team along with volunteers and staff recently attended the Suffolk show to promote and showcase EEAST. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the two-day event, it was an amazing effort and was very well received by the public.

Have a great week everyone. 


Published 6th June 2019

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