This weeks leadership message comes from our Director of Service Delivery, Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown director of service delivery

Whether you are a clinician on the front line, working in the EOC, supporting the operation in the background, senior leaders or management, I know you are working extremely hard to rally against the last throes of a very challenging winter. I want to say thank you again for keeping at it, particularly in the face of the scrutiny the Trust is under.

Partnership working is very high on the agenda now, as we work with hospitals to tackle handover delays. These are a very real and ongoing issue that affects so much of what we try to do, such as get to patients in a more timely way and do better at trying to get you home on time more often. One of the actions from the system-wide risk summit on 30th January was to produce a new procedure about what to do with delayed handovers. This is now agreed and has the most senior regional NHS leaders firmly behind the improvement needed.  NHS England, NHS Improvement,  Robert and I will be briefing our colleagues in hospitals and to set out how it will work. It will come into effect from 26 February.

The new process is underpinned by the recognition that the greatest risk is to those patients in the community who need us  and aims to get our ambulances back out on the road to do so,. The updated process sets out a clear escalation procedure if ambulance crews have to wait longer than 15 minutes to handover a patient at hospital. If the patient is waiting for more than 30 minutes, hospitals and ambulance crews are to work in partnership to ensure safe and immediate transfer of care. It also highlights that if cohorting is required, the hospital must provide this.

At the time you are reading this, it is likely you will have seen Robert on BBC Look East explaining about the new procedure. Our colleagues at Luton and Dunstable Hospital were able to show off how well it can work. I have also heard from several senior staff about how other systems are trying to tackle this and nationally this is recognised as a significant issue.  Robert was also able to talk about our strong leadership team and about some of the issues you face every day.

I know our staff are very proud, professional and compassionate and not only do I know this, but the communities we serve know this and hear this. Sandy mentioned it last week, but it bears repeating: in January we received double the amount of thank you letters we usually do. I also welcome sight of a report from Healthwatch Suffolk, who have taken a lead among other patient voice groups to review our work from people’s point of view. Some 62 of 102 responses they received between August 2017 to date, got a five star rating. This is brilliant to hear – and it gives us an idea of how we can make improvements to patient experiences.

We have a way to go and need everyone here in EEAST and in the wider system to get on board to support our mission.

I am proud to be a leader in this organisation, knowing that at the heart of everything our staff do, is care. I saw first-hand how our staff and managers responded to a declared major incident at a care home in Stevenage a couple of weekends ago and I pay huge compliment to the exceptional response and care that I saw there. 


Published 16th February, 2018




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