Thursday 4th November - Leadership message from Tom Abell, CEO

Tom Abell NTK

Happy Diwali!

On 4th November many faith communities begin a week’s celebration of Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights.’ Diwali symbolises the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. We wish everyone marking the occasion a very happy Diwali.

Looking after our people

This week, saw some of the busiest nights we have experienced as a Trust so far this winter, and there continues to be high levels of demand on the national system.  

We know that not only are many of you working under incredible pressure to respond to calls from our patients, but the situation is also impacting on you having proper breaks and getting home on time.

Unfortunately, on top of this, we have also seen an increase in serious incidents. Behind every one of these incidents there is not only a patient and their family who are deeply affected, but also members of the EEAST family, our colleagues, who have spoken to those patients and families on the phone or sat with them in the ambulance.

No one wants this to continue. We are making representation to the NHSEI regional team at the highest level to make them aware of the impact the current situation is having, and to request help in reducing the impact on all NHS staff.

Within the Trust, we are increasing our call handler numbers by employing current and future students to bolster support. We are implementing plans for cohorting, so that our sickest patients can be triaged more quickly in a hospital environment. We are also investing £170,000 in expanding our staff health and wellbeing support. The money will fund increased assistance for colleagues with muscular skeletal conditions, additional psychological support and three wellbeing vehicles to cover the region. You can find out more about our winter plan at Thursday’s ‘We are EEAST’ briefing and Q&A.

I know things are tough and sadly there is no quick fix, but there is support available for you. Please do make use of the resources available. You can find all the information in our Wellbeing leaflet. If you haven’t already, do download it and save it to your desktop so you have the information to hand.

 As we’ve mentioned before, the National NHS Staff Survey is currently live. I know that we are all feeling a little survey fatigued – on top of general fatigue – but we really want to hear from you about your EEAST experience, so please take five minutes to complete it.

Listening to your views

We are making real progress in some key areas, which we shared in the last leadership message. They are set out in this infographic, which hopefully gives you a clear picture of what is happening around the Trust and reassures you things are changing.

We are aiming for a 60% return rate on the survey and are currently at 37%, so over halfway with three weeks to go. It’s within our grasp!

Looking after our students

Over the past six to eight weeks, we have been working closely with MediPro, our new main education provider partner for the apprenticeship programme, to transfer our apprentices to them as smoothly as possible. 

MediPro will begin to enrol learners on to their learner management system in cohorts. All learners will be contacted by the 26th November to discuss the next steps in restarting their learning.

Get your booster and flu jabs

Please book your Covid-19 booster jab via the National Booking Service here. We will also be announcing further flu clinics in the near future. Both vaccinations are an important part of keeping our patients, families, and colleagues safe this winter.

Take care and please do ask for support if you feel you need it.

Tom Abell
Chief Executive

4th November 2021