Trust update from Dorothy Hosein - 3 April 2020

Video transcript: Dorothy Hosein video on 3rd April

Good afternoon colleagues,

Today Friday 3rd April you will have seen a lot of information again this week from government on the daily briefings around where we are around this COVID-19 pandemic we are dealing with.

Unfortunately, as you will have seen there has been a number of deaths and particular an increase, which is very very sad. This is of course becoming closer to home for many of us in our communities now and in our workforce. We have a number of colleagues in EEAST who have been sick with COVID, some who have recovered very well, and others who are currently being challenged and are in hospital. I want to wish all of them and their families the very best.  What I’d like you to be aware of, and I’m sure you are, the measures you are taking are in place as government have outlined and that we are all contributing to trying to manage the spread of this awful virus.

This week there has been a lot of information around our PPE and I know many of you have had concerns. We’ve been talking about nationally whether there is enough supply. I want to assure you at EEAST, right now, supplies are not short. That is really really important.

The really important guidelines that came out yesterday was about the use of PPE and level two PPE is now in place for all patient contact. In terms of FFP3 you will see on Need to Know and number of other ways you’ve received this, around the judgement around level three PPE so I think that is very clear and I know our IPC lead has been sending out a number of updates around that.

Testing - staff testing was also in the news this week and the government have given a huge commitment around increasing the testing. For us at EEAST I want to assure you we have taken this very seriously and we have played a big part in the last couple of days about sourcing testing for you, because it is really really important. In the next couple of days you will see certain areas are a little ahead, for example Norfolk have begun testing staff faster but you will see throughout our six counties that we will be looking for capacity and you will be able to avail of that. I want to assure you it is at the top of the agenda for us.

On some good news, I know that many of you right now are either sick or in isolation or you’re at work supporting everybody in the community and therefore many of you will have to have your annual leave put on hold. I know that it is really really difficult. All of us need our annual leave but at this time it is just not possible with lock down; and it’s a global lock down so really we’ve nowhere to go globally, sadly. However we gave some thought to how we support you in this, not being able to take your annual leave and we’ve just had a look at our policy and what we are implementing is that you can buy back five days annual leave. There is a whole policy available and the protocol is available for you to access. There is a window for you to consider this from April to June. Whether you want to consider if you want to take this up or not, it is entirely up to you but we felt it would be of benefit for you to be able to avail of that. Please consider it for yourself and decide if it is for you or not - but it is there.

I’d also like to continue to thank many many of our staff throughout our business who have stepped up to do different roles. The clinical team, for example, 40 of them have been redeployed either into recruitment, our call centres, doing all sorts of different roles and it’s really really important that we thank all our colleagues for doing that.

Something else I would just like to bring to your attention and I will be bringing back with a lot more detail next week around the plans for our business to increase its capacity as we move closer to the peak of the virus in our area.  Just to say we will be doubling our fleet in the next couple of weeks. We have already sourced them, we are now working through the resourcing; I’m talking about people to man those vehicles and also the model of care that we will be using those for. I will be coming back to you with much more detail around that. I know you will welcome these additional colleagues into our business.  

I want to say doubling our business is what we are doing because we need to do it for our public and our communities. I will bring you back the detail; a lot of that planning is going on now and we will be coming back with the mobilisation of that plan next week to help everyone understand what we are doing.

This weekend is going to be beautiful weather and I know it is a real tempter to want to go out but please don’t. Please stick within the guidelines. I will back in touch with you on Monday. I will certainly be staying within my confines and I know you will too.  Thank you.

Dorothy Hosein


Published 3rd April 2020

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