This weeks leadership message comes from Chief Executive Robert Morton

Robert Morton, CEO


In my last leadership message I mentioned the story of Lance Cox and his loyal colleagues. I was saddened to hear that he has now passed away, and my thoughts are very much with his friends, family and colleagues. It is clear to me that he was a much loved member of staff and will be greatly missed. I have spoken with Lance’s wife Claire, and assured her of our support at this difficult time. Claire wants Lance to have a service funeral and I know his local colleagues will do him proud on his final journey.

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind staff that if they have been affected in any way by this, or any other, loss and need support, please do not hesitate to contact the Staff Wellbeing Hub on 01234 243060 or The Trust’s Employee Assistance Programme is available at any time. It is free, confidential, runs 24/7 and can be accessed on 0800 085 1376.

It seems to be ever more frequent now that I find myself addressing recent tragedies that have happened throughout the country. In June we saw the devastation caused by the catastrophic fire in the Grenfell Tower block in West London; once again, our colleagues in the neighbouring emergency services were a credit to both themselves and their communities. My thoughts are with them as they come to terms with the horrific scenes that they witnessed that night, and to all the friends, families and victims involved.

June saw us faced with a heatwave – and this week has been really warm too of course - which both increased the volume of emergency calls, but created some very difficult working conditions for staff. I would like to thank you all for your continued hard work throughout these tough times, without you we would not be able to deliver the level of patient care that we do.

Paramedic colleagues may have seen our recent advertisement to recruit an Advanced Paramedic – Primary Care Lead. This will be a critical appointment for the Trust as we continue to shift our focus to becoming a mobile integrated healthcare provider delivering the best care, first time, every time.

I recently caught up with some HART colleagues and was pleased to see that the £2m in new vehicles for HART that the Trust committed to are now coming into service. Keep a look out for them as you may see them on a job near you soon.

Up in the north of the region, staff at Cromer ambulance station opened their doors for their annual open day on Sunday. It was fantastic to hear what a great success it was, with hundreds of pounds being raised for the charity Nelson’s Journey. Well done to everyone involved!

As mentioned in my previous message, I took part in a guided 10km walk starting from our offices in Melbourn after work a couple of weeks ago. This was part of the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and a great evening was had by all. Myself and the rest of the Executive Team are keen to find the time from the relentless schedule of meetings to get out and get some face to face time with our colleagues across the Trust, so look out for any future events as everyone is welcome if they are in the area.

On Friday, it was the 80th anniversary of when the 999 telephone number was introduced. Our Bedford control room welcomed Heart FM, who interviewed Director of Service Delivery Kevin Brown, and EOC Duty Manager Mindy Thomas. Thank you to all staff involved, you did a fine job at representing the Trust on the day.  I have said it before but I will say it again, EOC is the first point of patient facing contact for our patients and is increasingly providing more care to more patients over the phone. Since April 2017, our EOC/ECAT is managing 9% of all 999 calls over the phone without having to send a response. This means our clinicians on the road can be directed to those patients more likely to benefit from their outstanding care. Well done on a great achievement.

It is always great to hear and read about personal achievements and charity challenges. Last week I read about Dee Quinn on winning an award for her own business, and over in EOC, Sean Carroll and Nick Bennett also deserve a huge pat on the back for completing their epic golf challenge. There are plenty of other fundraising efforts on the horizon too, so be sure to look out for them so you can show your support too. I would like to draw your attention in particular to the Wing Walk in memory of Keith Marshall, one of our most prominent volunteers who sadly passed away in November. Thr e  people from the Trust are joining Keith’s wife in the event;  I am always overwhelmed by how much time and effort our people  are willing to put towards planning or training for a charity event around their normal day to day working life.

In the next few months we are planning to welcome back our colleagues at the CQC to inspect us again. Historically, we have done a great job of displaying the strengths and great qualities of our Trust. We now need to make sure that this is replicated, as well as show them the improvements we have made. Every one of us should keep focused on making sure everything we do is about quality and safety of care, above all, we must be consistent across the Trust. Be that how we store and transport our medicines, to making sure patient records are kept secure at all times. Of paramount importance will be leadership. For those of you whom took the time to read our last inspection report, you will recall that the CQC identified the need for middle managers to provide consistent and compassionate leadership. This is your opportunity to shine and showcase what you do every day. Remember, we have plenty to be proud of and nothing to hide.

I recently had the privilege of being the Presenting Guest of Honour at the Hertfordshire Constabulary Awards. It was a humbling experience to hear about some of the deeds that individual members of the force or members of the public have undertaken. With recent events in Manchester and London in mind, I took the opportunity to thank our Police colleagues for what they do every day to keep us safe.

Many colleagues may be aware that we are soon to lose one of our Media Officers, Jake in the near future to a new career in sports communications. For those of you whom have kept an eye on the football challenge games (next one is 19 July), Jake is somewhat of a shark on the pitch. We will be sorry to lose Jake but wish him well in his new and exciting career.

Finally, I want to mention one of our colleagues, Andy Benstead from our Training and Education Team. Andy has recently reached the fantastic milestone of 35 years’ service. I have encountered Andy a couple of times and found him to be a quiet and unassuming person whom works tirelessly in the background preparing our clinicians for the arduous task ahead. His work has probably positively impacted on the care that tens of thousands of patients have received. Andy, you are a legend, well done and keep it up!

Published 6th July, 2017


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