This week’s leadership message: Lindsey Stafford-Scott

Lindsey Stafford Scott   web

I do hope you’re keeping warm and well this week as temperatures plummet once again. Patient-facing teams will have been responding to a lot of patients who have suffered falls and a deterioration in their health this week, so thank you for your continued compassion and care.

I am a passionate and vocal advocate of ensuring our teams have a wealth of options available to them to progress in their careers and following a lot of hard work with Clinical Directorate colleagues and my teams, last week we were able to share our vision of clinical career pathways including developments in Advanced practice which offers exciting new opportunities. On your NTK round-up email, you should spot the attachment to read when you have a chance, and it’s also embedded in this article from Friday. Our work is based on us wanting to get a better understanding about some of the reasons people leave, or consider leaving, EEAST and feedback has been through channels like Compassionate Conversations, online feedback, forums, local engagement, exit interviews, and surveys. Themes included the ability to access professional development and progression opportunities which we know are really important to you.

I reported workforce progress and plans at the Board meeting in public yesterday (30th January), including our workforce trajectories and updated Workforce Plan. Our target of 2,921 FTE patient-facing staff is under what we need and want, but target figures for 2019/20 will be the focus of an overarching recruitment plan supported by six sector plans with local recruitment leads.

"Our aim is to deliver a much improved staffing position including PTS and roles such as ambulance fleet assistants, which we know ultimately supports your wellbeing and improves the service we provide to our patients."

Focus on recruitment processes means the time we take to hire people, from advert to offer, has improved by 27% to 75 days and time to fill, from offer to taking up post - by 26% to 42 days, the latter being on target. We do have some way to go to reach and beat the time to hire target of 56 days, but our teams are working hard to drive out process improvements and improve candidate experience.

If you’re a manager who recruits into your teams, we’re working to implement TRAC, a system which will empower managers to see progress in recruitment - from shortlisting to start date - in a more straightforward and more efficient way. For the HR Recruitment team, this means they can adopt a more supportive, dynamic role. Thanks to colleagues from around the region who took part in the recent presentations on it - we plan to implement TRAC in May, so more will follow in March and April.

We know that rota changes remain a key concern for staff. We are sending out information about the changes we have made to our building better rotas project as a direct result of your feedback, so please check your emails and check back on Need to Know for these updates in the next couple of days.

"We thank Unison colleagues for their work on this and are confident the changes supported by our new Relief Policy will address the concerns you raised."

Elsewhere, plans are being put in place for EEAST to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March. I had a fantastic response last year to the event we held with Essex Police and Fire services at Chelmsford City Race Course, and we have been working with colleagues in Essex including GM Sandra Chick to develop an even better event this year so hold the date! The All Women in EEAST group will be a big part of this (although everyone is welcome) – I’m aware that we’ve had to pause holding AWE meetings and updates whilst we focus on some key areas of work this winter, but I’m pleased to see engagement continues on social media platforms and via local teams. New meetings will be arrange from April 2019 and we have some exciting developments to share. Don’t miss our other staff networks which include LGBT, Disability and BAME colleagues, we would love you to be involved. 

Finally, you may have heard that Flu has arrived! But it’s not too late to get the flu jab and protect yourself and your patients – maybe you’re a new member of staff who missed the campaign in October and November, maybe you never got around to’s no problem, just get in touch with the Wellbeing team. You will be entered into our prize draw and could win an iPad!

Stay safe and have a good week!


Published 31st January 2019

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