Ofsted FAQs

Transparent EEAST crest

The Trust has produced some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) following the publication of the Ofsted report into our training and education for apprenticeships.

We know this is unsettling news and we have set up the EEAST apprentice support line to help answer your questions and concerns. The number is: 0300 790 0256. The helpline is open from Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5.00pm. You can also email us at: apprenticeships@eastamb.nhs.uk

We will be updating these FAQs as we receive more information and following feedback from staff.

UPDATE: Where do I go for support and guidance on any apprenticeship issues?

Please contact the apprentice helpline on 0300 790 0256 or email the dedicated apprentice inbox on  apprenticeships@eastamb.nhs.uk and our team will support or signpost you to the information you need. If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact your local management team or the freedom to speak up team on FTSU@eastamb.nhs.uk.

Medipro also have a dedicated inbox for EEAST staff which is eeast.amb@medipro.co.uk.

UPDATE: What is the most up to date guidance on portfolios or workbooks?

All learners should retain ALL of their work. This is their property and will be required when they transition to a new education provider. A new provider will not change the way in which the award is assessed so all portfolio work and workbooks are and will be valid.

UPDATE: What is the latest guidance on End Point Assessments (EPA)?

The potential new provider, EEAST and futurequals have met to discuss the number of learners ready or nearing end point assessment and the awarding body has already begun putting provisions in place to ensure all who are ready can progress to EPA in a timely way. A new provider will be committed to supporting those nearing EPA to reach this gateway.

UPDATE: What if is have a safeguarding concern during the transition period?

If at any point you feel you need to raise concerns about your welfare or safeguarding then please follow the trust processes. Contact your local management team or the trust safeguarding team. You also can access the freedom to speak up team, FTSU@eastamb.nhs.uk. A new provider will swiftly put a named safeguarding link in place, and communicate this info out to you in due course.

Could this have an effect on apprentices applying for the student paramedic programme next year?

The Paramedic Degree Apprenticeship is hosted by the University of Cumbria and this provision continues to be delivered and is not affected. To apply to the Paramedic Degree Apprenticeship, you will need to have completed your EMT End Point Assessment (EPA). We are working to minimise disruptions to this process and any delays or breaks in learning.

What shall apprentices do with their portfolios?

Please do not hand in your portfolio but keep it safe. The new provider will use your portfolio for your EPA. There is no expectation that you will have to start again. Continue to collect evidence for your portfolio. If you want specific advice for your personal circumstances, contact apprenticeships@eastamb.nhs.uk

What happens with people who have their certificate but are awaiting an EPA that is not yet booked?

If your EPA is not yet booked, these will be managed through the new provider. Please keep your portfolio and learner record up to date. We will provide you with further information as soon as we can, as we want to minimise any disruption.

Will this also affect pay rises? For example after a year qualified, we would go up to band 5

We are committed to ensuring that there is no financial impact to our apprentices as a result of this change. We are looking at how this practically will work and will provide more details once confirmed. 

If our final submission is in September and we only have a few things to amend, shall we still do this or wait?

Continue to develop, amend and strengthen your portfolios in preparation for your final submission. Your existing portfolio will continue to be the main basis for your EPA so it is essential that you continue to develop it.

When will the individual meetings happen and with whom?

One-to-One meetings are being planned and details will begin to be cascade in the week commencing 19 July 2021. They will be held with leads from operations within your AGM area; they will have access to an ETO for technical advice. In the meantime, please do contact either the helpline or apprenticeships@eastamb.nhs.uk . It is also important to remind people that confidential, anonymous conversations can be had with the Trust's Freedom to Speak UP Guardian,  FTSU@eastamb.nhs.uk

CQC and now OFSTED reports points to the leadership. What will be changed there?

We have been clear since the CQC inspection and report that leadership capacity and capability is a critical development need throughout the organisation. Within the Fit for the Future improvement programme, leadership capacity and capability both feature heavily.

It is really important to acknowledge that inappropriate behaviours have been experienced at every level of the organisation. As has been made clear through our Speak Out, Speak Up and Stop It campaign, it is everyone’s responsibility to improve behaviours and change our culture. The other important element is supporting, developing and recruiting the right people.

Will apprentices need to still get sign-offs for placement hours and for practical skills? Will monthly mentor reviews still take place? Will formative and summative two-day ride-outs still take place?

Yes, please continue with all these activities until told otherwise, a new provider may adjust the way in which monitoring in practice is undertaken but it will continue to involve our educators and mentors.

What happens if the End Point Assessment (EPA) has already been booked?

Any scheduled EPA will remain booked as planned. EEAST will work with the ESFA and any new provider to facilitate these. If an EPA needs to be rearranged, individual learners will be contacted. Future EPA will be booked and facilitated by the new provider.

What happens to portfolios that have already been submitted?

Any portfolio which has already been submitted will be marked and returned to learners. EEAST is unable to take any further portfolio submissions and these will be managed by a new provider. If you had a submission date in the coming weeks, please retain your portfolio until told otherwise. If portfolio is not complete please continue to gather evidence against competencies whilst waiting further information. 

I am an apprentice at EEAST. Will I still have a job?

Yes – this affects the training provider element of your apprenticeship, not the employment.

If I need to go elsewhere to complete my training, will EEAST pay for my transport?

Any additional costs incurred through no fault of your own will be covered via expenses.

Will this have an impact on when I can qualify and start earning more money?

The end point progression will be managed by the new provider, but apprentices will not suffer any financial disadvantage.

What will happen if there has to be a gap in my training?

If there needs to be a break in learning you will be informed by the new provider about the impact of this and any actions you need to take. You would remain an employee of the trust during this break in learning. 

Will the work I have already completed still be eligible?

EEAST will work with the new provider to transition all eligible work and minimise disruption to learners.

What will this mean for colleagues in our training and education team?

EEAST Education and Training teams will continue to educate and train colleagues via other routes and will also support with the practical elements of apprenticeship delivery using their expert knowledge to assist local teams in supporting learners.

What will happen to the apprentices who were due to join us in the autumn?

Our workforce plan is predicated on continuing our apprentice learning and provision and we are keen to continue to provide this if it is at all possible. We are working to engage with alternate apprentice providers to confirm whether further apprentice recruitment is possible and we will inform you of plans as soon as we have confirmation of the way forwards.

How will this impact on our staffing, especially going into the winter?

EEAST has a specific performance team who lead on workforce planning and will take steps to mitigate any risks caused by the outcome of this .

Will this have an impact on the other learning opportunities that are available to staff?

EEAST is committed to continue to offer opportunities to staff for CPD and development via our organisational development teams and also access to up-to-date evidence-based practice via Essential Care Skills sessions. There is no further impact on other learning opportunities identified at the present time.

Were the issues highlighted by the inspectors known about?

The inspectors highlighted some issues around safeguarding and culture and also access to support in practice – this was also highlighted in the CQC report. The Inspectors recognised EEAST has made improvements on these fronts but were unable to measure the impact of these changes yet.

Does this affect the new apprentice paramedic pathway? 

No – the provider in this case is the University of Cumbria.

Should clinical ride-outs still take place if they have already been booked? 

 Yes, clinical ride-outs should continue.

 For apprentices that have passed their clinical ride out, will their End Point Assessment (EPA) be paused?

 We hope to transfer the EPA over to the new provider at the earliest opportunity. We have not cancelled any booked EPAs at this stage.


Published 13 July 2021


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