This week's leadership message from Chair Sarah Boulton

Sarah Boulton

It was fantastic to hear the CQC highlight in their informal feedback back to us about how open and honest and the staff they met were when meeting members of the inspection team. It is a real testament of your professionalism and commitment that you were happy to talk and were so welcoming to our CQC visitors.

Yet again the inspectors pulled out the quality of the care and compassion you deliver wherever you are in the Trust, whether that is directly patient facing or in support services providing the vital link to ensure this is a quality service we offer patients. We also have started to work on the learning from that feedback.

Next week the CQC will be scrutinising our leadership structures and behaviours to assess how well the Trust is led. Board members will welcome the CQC team to observe our board meeting next week and interview executive and non-executive directors. You are also invited to share your views via drop-in sessions at Chelmsford, Bedford and Ipswich so please go along to make sure your voice is heard.

There are some board changes you need to know. I am pleased to announced that Lindsay Stafford-Scott has been appointed as Deputy Chief Executive. A heartfelt thanks to Sandy Brown who leaves us next week. The improvements in quality in the Trust bears testament to his time here. The role of Director of Clinical Quality and Improvement will be advertised shortly. The substantive role of Medical Director has closed to applications. Meanwhile we are still grateful to Dr Tom Davis skills in acting into the role.

This is the time of year when we expect to agree and sign contracts with our commissioners and complete our work plan for the coming year. We hope to be able to share this news soon and are very hopeful that in 2018/19 we will have significantly increased investment.

The Trust has also joined a national NHS call to action to tackle and prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace, and EEAST is taking a zero-tolerance stance.  We want our staff to be safe and feel supported at work and to feel that they have the freedom to speak up if they are at all concerned about themselves or others. Tomorrow (Friday, 23rd March) we are launching our new Dignity and Respect campaign so look out for the information for staff, training for managers and other guides around the Trust.

One of the things we do exceptionally well is working with other blue light agencies to support people. Well done to the teams who went to Salisbury following the incident which left two Russian people in hospital. I was impressed also by our efforts across the rest of the Trust to support and share information on what to do if faced with these attacks.

I was pleased to hear this week that the NHS Staff Council formally signed off an agreement to reform NHS pay structure and terms and conditions. It seems this deal will move forward this summer and looks like there will be closer alignment for ambulance staff with other Agenda for Change workers, with the government funding the increased salary costs.

I’ve already started to see a flurry of charity-related events as well happening over the past couple of weeks amongst our staff and know many of you are preparing for all sorts of big challenges to raise funds for worthy causes. I look forward to hearing about your news as you share it with the Trust.

I know there is much to do, but thanks for all your support and the commitment you show, and have a great week.


Published 22nd March, 2018

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