This weeks Leadership message is from Robert Morton, Chief Executive

Robert Morton, CEO

Yesterday, the Board signed off our winter plan 2018, which was first presented in draft format to NHS Improvement on the 30th April. There has been some commentary in the media about the Trust not having a plan so we took the decision last Friday to make our plan publicly available, 6 weeks ahead of the timeline required by NHS Improvement. 

We have also shared the plan with our MPs and MEPs. Since April we have been making sure that our commissioners, NHS England and NHS Improvement have been able to comment on our planning. Ultimately it will see more ambulances on the roads, more support in hospitals and more people in control rooms to take those calls. We have also been very clear about the support we require from system partners, particularly in relation to arrival to handover delays and 111 demand.

Today we will be sharing the findings that Lord Carter made in his most recent review of all ambulance Trusts. We remain among the best in the country for Hear and Treat in these figures and are finally shown as being a better funded ambulance Trust. This time last year, we were one of the worst, and clearly we still have a way to go to make sure we can translate that investment into the recruitment, training and education of additional staff.

We want to support our existing staff too, through better strategies to support mental health, and making sure that we are better resourced to be able to deliver improved patient safety. To do that, we have a strong vision for the future.

This summer we have worked with senior leaders across the Trust to review our vision and ensure it is fit for the ever changing environment that is the NHS. It is #WeAreEEAST - Trusted to deliver compassionate care. People then helped to shape the thinking behind our strategy to make it clearer. As a result we have four goals:

  1. Provide better care
  2. Value our people
  3. Value for money
  4. Improve performance

Each work location has been provided with posters to explain our overarching strategy and what will get us to good in the future. It sets out a few of the things we will be doing to support our four goals, adopting a quality improvement methodology and faculty, improving our attraction and retention offering, recruiting more staff, planning effectively for winter and delivering on a range of efficiencies set out in the Independent Service Review and the Lord Carter efficiency report on the ambulance sector.

Given the scale of the changes underway, we need productive and constructive engagement with our staff and unions. Following completion of the ACAS facilitated Partnership Review, we have finally put an end to the toxic and adversarial process.  UNISON’s newly nominated activists have already made more progress in three months than was possible in the preceding years. We now have a new Trade Union Recognition Agreement which is based on mutual trust and respect, a new consultation and negotiation framework, a new dispute resolution process, a new vehicle design and some improvements to our uniform, all delivered in a short timeframe through mutual trust and respect of each other’s limitations and stakeholder expectations. Great credit is due to these activists whom have demonstrated commitment and leadership which has delivered results for their members.

We all want to improve patient safety, and to do that we will need to make changes. Change is never easy, and it takes time, but the management of that change will be easier by having effective, constructive and respectful engagement. Care, Teamwork, Quality, Respect, Honesty. All of our values epitomise who we are and how we want to treat each other. We have to keep being tenacious on behalf of our patients, who need our help every day.

Finally, I want to share the sad loss of one of our colleagues, Saira Bull, who passed away earlier this month. Saira was one of our SPOC call handlers and a much-loved colleague, friend and valuable member of our Primary Care team. She will be missed by all who knew her.


Published 27th September 2018

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