Update from Chief Executive Robert Morton (26th January)

Transparent EEAST crest

This week I met with the Board, staff, volunteers and members of the public at our monthly board meeting, after which I did an interview with BBC Look East, speaking about the current demand on our service, how we are improving and the need for investment.

Our winter work and focus on quality patient care was top of the agenda. I’ve talked at length over the last few weeks about how exceptionally busy it was, and being able to improve our service at the busiest of times was no mean feat. The work of all of you was publically recognised at the meeting and the Board specifically wanted to pass on their thanks in recognition of everyone’s dedication and tremendous efforts over the last few weeks. The results of your hard work were shown through the increasing number of red patients getting an eight minute response and the outstanding patient feedback from the experience results we saw last month.

The board also heard an update about our patient transport services (PTS) team. Since the PTS contract started in Cambridgeshire, there have been a lot of challenges for the team. Patient transport services is such an important part of EEAST. It’s a service we need to cherish and grow. So I’m pleased to have heard yesterday that compliments from patients are improving regardless of the changes. Thank you to everyone for your hard work.

We also received an update on the progress of the cultural audit. The analysis identified seven priority areas to target to help improve the health and wellbeing of our people, and the culture here at EEAST. These are split into two categories; those areas that need to be promoted and protected, and those areas that need to be tackled. These are:

  • supportive leadership (promote and protect)
  • positive work experience (promote and protect)
  • quality and learning (promote and protect)
  • home-work conflict (tackle)
  • low confidence in decisions (tackle)
  • violence (tackle)
  • blame and fear (tackle).

Our culture steering group, which is made up of staff from across the Trust, have reviewed the results and are developing actions for each of these areas – most importantly these will be realistic and achievable in the immediate future. The final report will be published in the coming weeks, and we’ll of course keep you all in the loop.

I have been asked to pass on a thank you from Sir Simon Burns MP, who covers the Chelmsford constituency and Daniel Zeichner MP for Cambridge, for your work over the Christmas and New Year period. I have been keeping our MPs up to date on the pressures the service had faced over the festivities. He stated:

“It is extremely helpful to have a breakdown of the demands your service had to contend with and I would ask that you pass on my thanks to your team and all the staff of the East of England ambulance for their hard work and dedication which is greatly appreciated.”      Sir Simon Burns MP

“I am sorry that you faced such pressure over Christmas – please pass my best wishes and thanks to all staff who worked so hard to keep things running.”          Daniel Zeichner MP

 The point of me sharing this is to reiterate that our communities across the region remain incredibly supportive and grateful for what you do. I know it may feel relentless at times, but I hope that comments like the above, and those we get through letters and social media from grateful patients and their families, are heartening as a reminder of why what we do is so important.

 And finally next week, EOC takeover week is returning, with our communications team highlighting all the brilliant work of everyone in our control rooms. We want to show the reality behind the control room – that our call-handlers and dispatchers really do help to save lives. You can follow the takeover by using #EOCtakeover on Twitter, and keeping an eye on Need to Know for the latest.

Have a good week,


Published 26th January, 2017

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