Update from Anthony Marsh - 4th September 2014

Chief Executive Dr Anthony Marsh

A member of staff commented on my update last week asking if I am concerned about clinicians deciding to leave the Trust, and my answer is of course I am. It is a great loss when any of our experienced and knowledgeable frontline staff leave the organisation, particularly when you are needed the most. However, I am confident the measures I am putting in place will make things better. All of my priorities are not only about improving our service to patients but also your working life; newer vehicles, the latest equipment, upskilling ECAs to techs and techs to paramedics  and recruiting hundreds more paramedics – and we are making real headway. Despite people leaving due to retirement, moving on, or the restructure, we are seeing a gain in numbers of frontline staff, due to graduate and direct entry recruitment, as well as the student paramedic programme. It is going to take time to turnaround the service, but please give it time to see the real changes these will make for you on the ground and at the same time, be assured I am doing my best to support you.

I have also read your comments on the course allocation article for ECAs published last week. I understand your frustrations with the delay in letting you know and apologise this happened. As you will see in a separate article today, all those that have been allocated to a course in 2015/16 have been notified by now. I have said before that all ECAs will get the opportunity to progress and this hasn’t changed. Whilst I appreciate your aspirations to become technicians as soon as possible, we simply cannot abstract huge numbers of ECAs at the same time as we need more staff working on ambulances, not less.

Finally, my congratulations to a group of EMTs who were practicing at ECA level, as they were only given this option when previously employed by the Trust. One of these technicians got in touch with me earlier this year and following a refresher course, these nine people are now on the road treating patients at the correct level. I wish them all the best for a long and successful career at EEAST. 

Thank you for what you are all doing to help improve our service. I know it's hard going but I do appreciate it and together we will transform our organisation.

Published 4th September 2014 

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