Thursday 5th August - Leadership message from Chief Executive Officer Tom Abell

Tom Abell NTK

This is my first week as Chief Executive.  As I mentioned in my first day message on Monday I feel very privileged to be leading EEAST. My motivation for joining the Trust remains the same as when I originally started in the NHS many years ago – to make a positive difference.

I recognise that we have some major problems that we need to tackle over the coming months and years – this will take time but by working together I’m convinced we can do it.  During the next few weeks, I am planning to meet with as many of you as a I can with visits to several of our busiest A&E departments coming up.  I want to hear from you about what works well at EEAST, how we tackle the issues that need changing and what we can do together to make you proud to be part of our team. I hope that many of you will attend the ‘Meet the CEO’ sessions that are planned for Thursday 5 August and Monday 9 August.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who are working extra shifts to help us manage the huge increase in demand for our services. We are still at REAP 4 and we are not alone in this. All ambulance trusts have impacted by increased demand for NHS services and are looking at where they can get additional support. I will tell you more about that next week once we have some more information to share.

It is really important that we continue to look after ourselves and our colleagues while working under such pressure. The NHS recently set up several Mental Health Hubs (sometimes referred to as Resilience Hubs) across the country, to provide health and social care colleagues with quick access to local mental health services and support where needed. The hub is confidential and free of charge for all health and social care staff.

We know, too, that late finishes are one of the things that have a big impact on frontline colleagues’ wellbeing and safety. This week saw the launch of an exciting trial to reduce late finishes and the negative impact that these have. The trial started on 3 August and is taking place for four weeks two dispatch groups: West Norfolk and West Hertfordshire. I met with the team leading this work yesterday and look forward to seeing the results which we’ll be sharing.

I know it’s really tough at the moment so please make sure you’re looking after yourselves and each other.

Kind regards


Published 5th August 2021