Leadership Message from Tracy Nicholls

Tracy Nicholls

As we approach the Easter holidays, I would like to say thank you to all of you who will be working over the Bank Holiday period to provide compassionate care to our patients. It is always difficult to be at work when others are enjoying a long weekend and we really appreciate your commitment to your patients and colleagues. 

Last week you will have seen Sarah Boulton’s message about our Care Quality Commission (CQC) Core Services inspection. The Trust has received some interim feedback and the overwhelming theme is the great care those of you working directly with patients provide, be that in emergency operations, patient transport services or our ambulance operations centres. The inspectors also fed back that everyone they spoke to was open and honest and gave them a real sense of their experiences of our organisation. Thank you to all of you who spoke to the CQC inspection teams, for your professionalism and integrity. The next phase of our inspection is an unannounced visit over the next 14 days, where the team can visit any area of the organisation, whether that be revisiting an area they have already seen, or visiting somewhere they had not managed to visit last week.

"I always feel a great sense of pride listening to feedback following any visit, from either a regulator or an external visitor to the Trust. Whichever area of the Trust they visit or engage with, the feedback is always that we have amazing staff who care deeply and who are passionate!" 

There will then be a Well Led inspection phase in early May, where the CQC will interview a number of senior managers who have regional roles and will also interview members of the Trust Board. We will of course keep you updated.

Some of the immediate improvements we want to make are around greater standardisation of our Medicines Management and may I take this opportunity to remind all of our paramedics that will be a new Patient Group Directive (PGD) to sign. Also, we want to make the management of risk much clearer to all of our staff over the next few months and we will do our best to communicate this in a way that is meaningful and relevant to your own areas of work. We also know that we must improve our performance and we have plans in place to do this. While we have seen some gradual improvement, we know there is more work to do to ensure our patients receive timely, high-quality care. Thank you also for your continued support in engaging with working groups for the Building Better Rotas (BBR) project.

For those of you who may not be aware, the Trust is trialling the GoodSAM app and I am delighted to say that we had our first activation this week with a four minute response. The Trust will be rolling this out as soon as we have embedded the app within our systems and I have no doubt that this will be welcomed by many, judging by the requests we have had to be a part of the scheme.

Also this week, we saw the national pub chain J D Wetherspoon back our fabulous Don't Choose to Abuse campaign, by agreeing to display our posters in 47 of their pubs in the region. It is absolutely unacceptable for any member of staff, or volunteer, from EEAST to face abuse in the course of simply doing their job. I am sure given the forecast for good weather over this weekend, that our campaign will receive high visibility!

Finally, following the sad news of the death of our much-loved colleague Neil Barrett, I can inform you that his funeral will be at the Norse Road Crematorium on the 30th April at 15:15.

May I wish all of you a Happy Easter, and I hope that if you are working, that you get some quality time to spend with your family and friends soon. Thank you everyone for all you are doing for EEAST.


Published 18th April 2019

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