This weeks Leadership message: Chief Executive Robert Morton

Robert Morton ambulance OPT

It seems like only five minutes ago that I was putting last week’s leadership message together as this week seems to have flown by. As you may have read by now, today NHS England announced significant changes to how ambulance standards will work going forward as part of the Ambulance Response programme. You should have received an update about this via email, but you can also download a copy here.

I paid a visit to the new Stevenage Hub on Babbage Road recently. I enjoyed getting to see the results of all the hard work for myself, as well as getting some feedback from staff on the new facility. There is still some work to be done to address some issues that were highlighted by the recent Quality Roadshow, but I could see the team there were committed to sorting these issues.

This week has also seen the resurface of media coverage around our Estates transformation. I feel it is important to make it clear that nothing has changed since we briefed the Board back in March 2017. We will be sure to keep you, up to date on any new developments as and when they happen and I would encourage you to go and look at the new facilities we have opened in the last couple of years – Chelmsford, Southend, Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage; they really are the future of the facilities we want for our people.

I also had the pleasure of meeting the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford to discuss Chaplaincy Services. Our chaplains provide further support and pastoral care for our staff, which plays an integral part of our health and wellbeing support available to staff and volunteers.

One of our vehicles was involved in a road traffic collision this week in Cambridgeshire. Having seen the photo’s I was relieved to speak with Claire and hear that both her and Jess are ok and being supported by their DLO. I know I speak on behalf of the whole EEAST family in sending my best wishes to you both.

You may have been aware that last week a member of staff was in court following a tragic incident involving an ambulance and a pedestrian last year. They were in our minds throughout, and although our thoughts are very much with the patient’s family, we were relieved to hear that they were found not guilty. I would like to express my gratitude to the management team who showed their support to our colleague throughout the entire process, and wish them all the best as they come to terms with what has happened. Driving an emergency ambulance is a challenging thing to do at any time. This incident has demonstrated clearly that we should be using technology more to protect our staff wherever possible from having to go through this experience.

Throughout the week I have heard a number of rumours circulating that I hope to put to rest. Firstly, there are no planned redundancies in Support Services. Clearly, the Ambulance Improvement programme will require Ambulance Trusts to work leaner and smarter but our Support Services are already at the bone. This area of the Trust has already been through a particularly difficult time with restructuring in 2014/2015, but we are now currently in line with Government set targets for Support Services expenditure.

Secondly, there have been rumours circulating that the Trust is going into Special Measures. Again, I can assure you that this is not happening. Unfortunately, within any organisation, particularly of this size, there will always be a small group of people willing to promote negativity. I can appreciate that it can be unsettling to hear such things, so please, if you have any doubts or concerns, please address them to your leadership teams.

Finally, as mentioned last week, Director of People and Culture Lindsey Stafford-Scott and Director of Communications joined Mary Marshall and Jon Needle to do a charity Wing Walk in memory of Mary’s husband Keith. Unfortunately on the day, Jon was unable to take part but his partner Maria stepped up instead. Well done to all for such fantastic event. If you are taking part in anything for charity then please do let the communications team know so they can put something in Need to Know for you, it always makes me proud of our EEAST family when I see all your commitment to such great causes.

Hope you all have a great week.


Published 13th July, 2017



Leave a Comment
Name (required)
Email Address (required, never displayed)
Enter a message

(all comments are moderated - your submission will be posted on approval.)