This week’s leadership message comes from Chief Executive Robert Morton

Robert Morton, CEO

We’ve got through another bank holiday weekend – and despite it being the hottest for decades we saw just a 2 per cent increase in 999 calls compared to last year’s bank holiday. I have thanked the public for choosing wisely over the weekend and I would also like to thank everyone who worked hard, especially during the sudden rise in temperature, to provide the best care for our patients.

Also over the weekend, a group of staff, including Director Kevin Brown, student paramedics, paramedics, a member of staff from the patient experience team and emergency medical technicians, worked alongside colleagues from London Ambulance Service to support the Notting Hill Carnival celebrations. It’s not only fantastic to see our staff supporting our 999 colleagues, but hearing that some were thanked personally by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick while carrying out their duties, fills me with admiration for my colleagues. Thanks to all involved.

Over in Norfolk, I recently had a meeting with the High Sheriff. He is very supportive and interested in community first responders (CFRs) and I look forward to seeing the Trust work with him in the future. On the same day, I also got to catch up with some Make Ready and service delivery colleagues in King’s Lynn and hear from them about how busy we all are.

Looking back over the last month, it was great to see the engagement between the Trust and the public at the Royal Norfolk show. More than 800 children were taught CPR during the two-day event by CFRs and staff, a great thing to see for our next generation of life-savers. The emergency services village also won the best trade stand award during the show. Thank you to everyone involved.

Hopefully readers will remember the urgent update in July about the new Ambulance Response Programme (ARP) standards, and have seen the most recent article on Need to Know to signpost you to the general ARP page on East24. We’re uploading articles weekly, so please keep reading to help stay informed about the implementation in October.

So much work is going on by the programme board and its associated project groups to ensure we are ready for go-live before 31st October, and we know that many of you will have questions and concerns about the impact of the standards on life in EOC and out on the road. It’s really clear from the trials three other trusts have gone through that we will see ambulance deployment rise and RRV use go down, which means those managing rotas locally will need to review what their teams look like each shift so that we balance out the response to the overall rise in calls each year with the right response to every patient. Dovetailing the standards implementation are new ambulance quality indicators which focus on ensuring national reporting of standards for patient care deliver on the spirit and intent of the new response targets we’ll be working to.

Work on the Independent Service Review continues. For those unsure of the review, it is commissioned by NHS Improvement and NHS England and is well underway. It was an important concession to secure in our contract for 2017/2018 and one of the key reasons why we could not agree a two year contract like most of the NHS. Our regulators and commissioners have agreed to look at our current capacity requirements and any future resourcing we require. This report will form the basis of future contract negotiations between EEAST and our Commissioners. Working on the assumption that the report will be finalised and shared with EEAST by mid-September, we are now planning engagement sessions with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Three sessions have been tentatively organised for staffside representatives and UNISON Branch and County Lead representatives have been offered dates on the 13th, 19th and the 27th September. All dates will be finalised and confirmed once NHSE and NHSI confirm the final date for the report. Yesterday, I spent some time in Peterborough and got to catch up with some colleagues from Make Ready and Service Delivery teams. I spent some time listening to and getting feedback from Urgent and Scheduled Care colleagues about how the Cambridgeshire contract is running, one year on.

And finally, I would like to congratulate Waveney Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Martin Grove, who is also a firefighter, Paramedic and Coastguard Adam Wright from Ormesby, and Rod Wells, a critical care paramedic, Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) responder and lifeboat coxswain from Gorleston, who completed a 114km trek through the Arctic Circle. The group raised more than £2,000 for Suffolk Accident and Rescue Service (SARS). Congratulations to you all – what an achievement. To follow the group’s journey, view it here.

Have a great week,


Published 31st August, 2017

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