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

Robert Morton, CEO

Yesterday, we held our Annual Public Meeting (APM), and what struck me was the huge strides we have made over the last year, and this is thanks to everyone’s commitment whether they are a volunteer, member of staff or manager.  I was especially inspired to hear our staff talking about their experiences – Vicky’s story was extremely moving. With the support of her manager, Rachel, and from the health and wellbeing hub, she showed how important it is that we have focused on improving the support available to staff.  Listening to Nicola’s story about becoming a better leader was also humbling and provided real hope about the quality of leadership across the Trust.

Times can get tough, and recently we have had to say goodbye to two much-lovely and sorely missed colleagues – Martin Manning and Lance Cox. Ambulance Care Assistant, Martin worked in Patient Transport Services for more than 30 years in north Essex. The funeral of Ely colleague Lance was held yesterday (26th July), and a minute’s silence was held to mark the service at the Trust APM. Staff from south Cambridgeshire joined Lance’s guard of honour to remember him and my thoughts are very much with the families of Martin and Lance, their friends and colleagues.

At difficult times, the right thing to do is ask for help, however hard it is please remember we have a number of services that can support you. If you have been affected by Lance or Martin's death and need that support, please contact The Staff Wellbeing Hub on 01234 243 060 or The Trust’s employee assistance programme is also available, and at any time. It’s free, confidential, runs 24/7 and can be accessed on 0800 085 1376.

At the Trust’s APM it was warming to reflect on what we have achieved over the last year, our future plans, leadership and health and wellbeing developments and how Freedom to Speak Up is embedding into the Trust. It was great to hear about our new concept vehicles and our leadership, culture and wellbeing development. We have made lots of progress and this is down to our collective hard work - thank you everyone.

The Independent Service Review of EEAST commissioned by NHS Improvement and NHS England is well underway and is a chance for us to learn how to improve the service we provide and look at any future resourcing we require. The outcome from the review is expected in the next couple of months and the Executive team is currently briefing key stakeholders on what is involved. We will keep you posted with all the information you may need.

Following on from our APM, some media ran negative stories. As I said in my last Need to Know message, we are not in special measures and we are not going to be put into special measures by either the CQC or NHSI.

We have also experienced some negative media coverage about our community first responders (CFRs). The coverage clearly misunderstands the valuable contribution our CFRs make to our patients. Our volunteers across the board provide huge amounts of support to us, and do so in their own time. They do a fantastic job, and it’s only right we support them too.

I would like to say huge congratulations to all our graduating paramedics, who are currently celebrating. It’s such a fantastic achievement and I look forward to seeing many of you out on the road soon. Well done!

I was bowled over by the enthusiasm of the participants on two of our leadership courses for managers. Part of the feedback from our CQC inspection earlier this year was regarding concerns about consistent leadership from middle managers across the Trust. The attendees at courses like these highlight our workforce-wide commitment to leadership and it was great to see it in action.  We know from our Cultural Audit findings that leadership is the best intervention we can make to improve our culture.

I’ve heard an amazing story from a group of staff from Cambridgeshire who are hoping to lend a helping hand overseas.  Student Paramedic Michael Holgate and a team of paramedics are travelling to Buh, a small village in Cameroon in October to provide basic medical facilities. Their current amenities are in need of urgent improvement, particularly focusing on pregnant women and children. The team is hoping to raise £12,500 to provide a functioning rural health centre.

In true ambulance service style, the team is holding a station music concert. They are, I’m told, very fortunate at Peterborough station to have several semi-professional musicians and they have agreed to perform for us on 14th September to raise funds. Tickets are £7.50, and everyone is welcome to the event. Donations can be made at Michael has told me of the amount of support the team has received. He said: “This support has been humbling and amazing and testament to the people who dedicate their lives to the service of others. I am proud of what I do for a living, but equally proud of those I work alongside. Without doubt they show the best of humanity, and I would like to take this opportunity to recognise that support.” This is fantastic to hear. Well done all of you, what a great thing to do!

Finally, I want to pay special tribute to Stuart Clarke, DLO in Luton whom is retiring after a fantastic 37 years’ service. Thank you Stuart for all you have done and we wish you a healthy and happy retirement.

Have a great week,


Published 27th 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.)