Update from Dr Anthony Marsh - 22nd May

Chief Executive Dr Anthony Marsh

When I joined the Trust one of my priorities was to resolve the restructure, as I know it has been a very unsettling time. This has unfortunately taken much longer than I anticipated for two reasons – having structures which are fit for purpose and securing redundancy funding from our commissioners.

This has also given me time to fully review the way EEAST is organised and to make some comparisons between us and other ambulance services. I have found that the management structure here is very top-heavy and we have a lot of people and resources in support functions, so we have been looking at the savings we can make. I believe it is possible to save at least a further £3million, which can be invested in frontline services and staff. This is not a reflection on the jobs you are doing; this is purely based on the need to direct as much money as we can into our frontline service. As I have said before, I only want to do this once so we need to get it right first time.

Whilst this work on the structures has been going on, we have been busy making savings and changes to improve our services to patients and cut long ambulance delays. We have already saved more than £1million by reducing the number of people we employ on interim contracts and through the first round of the voluntary redundancy scheme. We are recruiting hundreds of student paramedics, upskilling our current staff and have returned lots of staff to the frontline from secondments. We have appointed two locality directors to lead the service at a local level and are holding interviews for the third post in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire tomorrow (23rd May). The Interim Director of Finance and Commercial Services, Stephen Day, is leaving the Trust next week as planned and Kevin Smith will be covering this position.

The next steps in the restructure will be to finalise and launch the emergency operations structure so that we can move forward as quickly as possible. More information will be published in the next couple of weeks about this. In parallel to this we will be working on the support services structures to ensure they are correct and as efficient as possible. As part of this, during June and July we will also be reviewing previous voluntary redundancy applications.

Everyone will continue to be supported throughout this process.  I realise how important it is to keep you informed and to make these decisions as quickly as possible so please be assured of my efforts on both of these points. I expect that by the autumn the restructure will be completed and the Trust will be able to move on with an organisation that is fit for purpose.

Published 22nd May, 2014

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