Safeguarding our staff: this week’s message comes from Robert Morton

Robert Morton, CEO

As the clock’s go back and the nights get darker, winter is definitely here. Remember you can still get your flu jabs at your nearest clinic and I really encourage you to do so to protect yourself, your colleagues, your family and our patients. You can find them on East24. If you can’t see ones in your area, please email the Wellbeing team.

Over the last few weeks, we continue to see inappropriate comments and behaviours on social media, especially in our Facebook virtual crew rooms. Social media is a place where we should never post something we wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to someone’s face. There have been a range of behaviours played out on social media which are completely inappropriate, which do not align with Trust values and portray our professionalism as public servants in a very poor light.  Much of the derogatory comments about individuals on social media are little more than a form of social bullying.

The Trust has a social media policy in place and it is apparent that we need to issue some guidance about the use of it, so keep an eye out for that.  Above all it is important to remember that whatever we post on social media is indelible and we can be held personally accountable for what we say on it.

At September’s board meeting, we had our PREVENT and safeguarding training, which was really well delivered by our Safeguarding Lead Simon Chase. It was very enlightening and the Trust Board found the session really insightful. The training was a big eye opener to the sorts of things we should be vigilant for, which our people do every day and do very well. Training like this does provide an opportunity for us to become more vigilant and keep an eye out for people who are vulnerable. It can also help, when it comes to bullying in the workplace. For example by being more vigilant, we will be able to see people who might be prone to bullying by virtue of their circumstances or personality. But this training for me highlighted the importance of safeguarding others, being vigilant about threats and risks and reporting our concerns through the established processes. This applies to everybody, including our Trust Board.

With this in mind, I will be supporting Bullying UK, an anti-bullying awareness day on Friday 10th November, from the charity Family Lives. On this day, I encourage those not in uniform to wear something blue to show your support for anti-bullying. For more about the charity, please click here for their website.

I want to express my disappointment that we have not been chosen to provide patient transport services across Great Yarmouth, Waveney and Suffolk. This decision won’t make sense to many people, especially at a time when we have stepped in to provide that care in other areas. I would like to commend our staff for the excellent work that they have done and continue to do until the new provider begins from 1st April next year.

Sticking with PTS, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the people who are from EEAST or are former PAS employees on the services we are currently providing in Beds and Herts. Many of the former PAS employees have stood by us, working during a period of uncertainty and we really appreciate that. We are currently doing our best to provide emergency cover in this area, and in the background, our teams are working hard on negotiations with the CCGs to develop a new contract. As soon as we have news, we’ll keep you informed.

Last week, we said a fond farewell to our Sector Head for Mid and South Essex, Gary Baines who finished 32 years of service. I would like to thank Gary for his sterling service over that time. He has worked in the ambulance service since 1985 and I hope he enjoys a long, happy and healthy retirement.

I recently met with paramedic Tristan, father to brave Finnbar Cork, who was telling me about the great work the charity, Finnbar’s Force, continues to do. You can find out all the latest news and upcoming fundraising events on the charity’s Facebook page. We will help in any way we can.

And finally, before my next message, we will have held our Remembrance Services across the region. Thank you the individuals who have ordered their wreaths and to everyone for taking part in paying tribute to our service men and women. It will be a solemn time for many of us as we remember family members whom died in the service of their country.


Have a good week,


Published 2nd November, 2017

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