Recognising staff achievements and looking ahead to the winter months: update from CEO Robert Morton (27th September)

Robert left side in cab smiling   web

At the beginning of this week, I had the pleasure of welcoming local dignitaries to the official opening of Southend station. As published on Need to Know this week, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre and Southend Mayor Councillor Judith McMahon, James Duddridge MP attended and it was truly a fantastic day. I am very impressed with the improved facilities. The opening of this excellent station is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people. From the project team, especially Rick Davis, Andy Sanders and Geoff Macro, the local management team, staff in Southend and experts and contractors outside the Trust, all have been integral to delivering this project and have my thanks. Thank you also to everyone who either attended or was involved in making this day happen.

As you will have seen, in information attached to your monthly payslip, this winter’s flu programme is imminent. Flu clinics will be up and running across the region and, working for the ambulance service, you’re entitled to have a free flu jab regardless of your role. Flu is highly transmissible and you can infect patients, your family, your friends and your colleagues even if you only have mild symptoms yourself, or sometimes if you have no symptoms at all. The flu vaccine is evidenced to be the most effective method for preventing flu transmission and NHS organisations are required to vaccinate 75% of their staff. So take the opportunity and have yours. The flu vaccination programme is part of our health and wellbeing strategy for staff. Dates for flu clinics will be published on Need to Know, so keep an eye out for further updates.

The Board met in public yesterday (28th September) in Norfolk. We covered a range of subjects, including the infection, prevention and control (IPC) annual report, performance, financial and the latest quality report which looks at clinical milestones, and compliments and complaints. You can follow updates from the board on Twitter by using #EEASTBoard. Some of the key topics discussed and decisions made include the need to increase the diversity representation across our organisation, the provision of the Huntington station, and the preliminary results from the cultural audit/organisational health check. We also talked about our people, and it was great to hear that our attrition rate has gone down again and that the Trust’s retention rates are better than the national average; in simple terms, that means more people are choosing to stay with us. It’s vitally important that we retain our people – the value of your expertise and knowledge must not be underestimated. In turn, as a Board we’ll continue to do everything we can to make EEAST an even better place to work.

Despite the high demand over the last few weeks, performance and ambulance clinical quality indicators are all improving. Our stroke care bundle, where we want to reduce the time on scene for patients we know are having a stroke so they get to a stroke centre within 60 minutes of their call, has really progressed, but there is still more work to be done. I have seen especially, over the last couple of weeks, Beds and Herts delivering significant improvements. Thanks to everyone who has worked hard to achieve this.

Lastly, we are on the final countdown to the staff awards ceremony. Our 2016 long service, graduation and celebration awards will be taking place next Thursday (6th October) and will recognise the outstanding contribution, long service and Chief Officer Commendations over the last 12 months. I look forward to welcoming all our guests to celebrate the amazing achievements and hard work you all do.

Have a good week,


Published 29th September, 2016

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