This weeks leadership message comes from

Exec   Sandy Brown New OPT

Since the end of the festive season, there has been considerable scrutiny on all parts of the NHS on how this difficult period was managed for patients within the UK.

We have continued to make sure our patients receive an excellent service and processes stand up to our regulators’ scrutiny. As you would expect, we have had a number of reviews over the past few weeks and at this heightened period of concern I expect this will continue. We will continue to be open and our focus will be learning from this period for the future. As an organisation we should always learn and make appropriate improvements. We have a clear process of managing incidents and serious incidents within the Trust and I can honestly say that since I have been in post it has been reviewed more times than anything else in my entire career.

During this period, we had a number of incidents under investigation through our processes. I do think it is important to remember there is a patient and their loved ones at the heart of each one of these cases. We have to ensure sensitive handling and we are speaking to the families and patients.

I would also like to thank our staff who did a fantastic job over this period for patients and had to deal with difficult situations where there was a delay to a patient. It is sometimes forgotten the commitment of our staff in the midst of the current media coverage. It’s worth sharing that since the end of December the numbers of compliments to the Trust has doubled, so people out there know that you are making a difference.

I want to make it clear that the Trust supports staff raising issues. We hear and deal with issues from staff every day. The only investigation we are carrying out pertains to a legal requirement from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to safely manage patient information. The ICO wants assurance that our systems/processes are robust enough to protect patient confidentiality and we have to respond accordingly. Not only is that right, it can also incur fines.

Elsewhere in the Trust this week it was great to hear that some of our HART colleagues were reunited with a member of staff from Essex Fire and Rescue Service whose life they saved. It is occasions such as this that remind us why we do what we do, and what a difference we can make.

At the weekend staff attended a major incident in Stevenage in which a care home was on fire with more than 40 residents. A number of resources were required to help manage the scene and treat any patients due to the nature of the residence. It meant the majority of people could stay in their residence and saw us asking for mutual aid from our colleagues at the London Ambulance Service. It was a true example of teamwork all round, as well as good care in the community.

I was saddened to hear about the passing of two retired colleagues this week, Allan Campbell who had formally worked as an Essex based paramedic, and Michael Crowe, a paramedic and training officer from Norfolk. My thoughts are with their friends, family and former colleagues.

Finally, I just wanted again to thank each and every one of you for your commitment and hard work in delivering the service to our patients.

Published 9th February, 2018




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