This week's leadership message from Chief Executive Robert Morton

Robert Morton, CEO

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to many staff and colleagues about how they are hurt and angry about many of the media headlines focusing on EEAST and the NHS. Many of these headlines are untrue.

I know there is a deep sense of hurt among clinicians about the suggestion that patients have died. This is deeply disturbing and simply does not reflect what EEAST staff do for people every day.

As an organisation, our values focus around us being open and honest. In the interest of transparency, here is a link to the letter we sent to MP Clive Lewis, which is downloadable on our Behind the Headlines on our website.

I am sure you will be able to see, from what is now a matter of parliamentary record, that we have made strong points to make our position clear.

Thankfully, you will have started to see a shift recently. In some cases other organisations have stepped forward to conduct reviews following incidents where EEAST was initially blamed.

Those who follow the news will have seen the Trust participated in a summit this week, which was convened by NHS England in response to whistle blower allegations reported by two MPs. We will be keeping you updated by email in the coming days about what this means.

The teamwork I have seen in recent days has been overwhelming. This is a time when the majority of you are pulling together. All the feedback I’ve received is that people want to ensure we continue to have stable leadership. Despite all the scrutiny and attention brought upon us, the Trust’s Executive Team is determined to lead the Trust through this challenging period. We have also seen teamwork from colleagues in the wider health community. Many have recognised the progress EEAST has made in recent years and we continue to work closely with important stakeholders including NHSI and CCGs.

Care is so important during times like these and, while I know teams and managers are looking after each another, I want to highlight that support is available for our staff. If you ever have any concerns or want to raise an issue, you can do so through your line manager or our Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. If you’re not aware of how to raise or escalate any concern you might have, see here: http://east24/You-Matter/freedom-to-speak-up.htm

Finally, may I pay my deepest sympathies to the friends, family and colleagues of Emma Nichols, a senior EMT for North East Essex who passed away recently. I know she is greatly missed by her friends in the Trust. The start of this week also saw a number of EEAST staff attend the funeral of Dilys Jack and deliver a guard of honour – I know her death affected many people and that she is sorely missed.

If you have been affected by the death of Emma or Dilys, or need some welfare support or guidance, please contact The Staff Wellbeing Hub. The Trust’s Employee Assistance Programme and The Samaritans are also available - at any time day or night. All are free, and completely confidential. The Hub: 01234 243 060 or wellbeing.info@nhs.net. EAP: 0800 085 1376 Samaritans: 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org 

Published 1st February, 2018

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