Update from CEO Robert Morton: Support services - supporting us and supporting patients (7th July)

Robert Morton, CEO

It is important that we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the past for the future we enjoy. Last Friday, we remembered those who fell at the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July, 1916. It was an opportunity for me to remember my own Great Grandfather who fell at the Battle of Passchendaele and lies in the green fields of France. We will remember them. And as London marks the 11th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings today, we will take time to remember those that lost their lives, their friends and families, and our emergency service colleagues who were on duty on that fateful day.

I recently had the opportunity to spend time with colleagues at our workshop in Barton Mills, who are being kept busy with all things ‘fleet’. They’re doing a great job on decommissioning our old emergency vehicles and getting the replacement ones into the service, and are also getting geared up for an intake of new patient transport service (PTS) vehicles for our contract in Cambridgeshire.

They’re just one of many support services team that are busy working away to help keep EEAST running smoothly; our procurement team are working hard in the background to help us secure private ambulance services (PAS) so we have more people available to attend patients; our HR team are getting out and about to recruitment fairs and the like to try and support our ambitious recruitment programme; the finance team have just gone through a difficult period of developing our annual accounts and supporting our cost improvement programmes (essentially, working out how we make the best use of the money we’re given), which we have to submit to NHS Improvement; our quality improvement team have put in a huge amount of work to prepare our Quality Account, which looks at what clinical priorities we’ll be focusing on over the next year; and our Freedom of Information (FOI) team are working extraordinarily hard to deal with the requests we’re receiving, of which we get many more than other ambulance services around the country.

Sometimes we forget how hard all of our support services are working, but the reality is that we can’t deliver services to patients without them. These people are getting on and working hard, despite having been subjected to huge restructuring and being expected to pick up tremendous workload – and they’ve done it without complaint. And if you’re one of our colleagues who work in support services, please remember that you are absolutely supporting patient care. If any one of us is asked what we do, our response should be that we’re helping to:

‘Deliver safe and effective healthcare to the people of the east of England.’

If you haven’t already seen it, an article was published earlier this week on Need to Know about the recent EU Referendum; the recent vote has, understandably, created an atmosphere of uncertainty for some of our colleagues. It is important that we recognise, as an NHS trust, the contribution that those who have joined or will join us from across the EU make to our service, our patients and our community every day. We value each and every one of them.

Have a good week,


Published 7th July, 2016

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