Update from Robert Morton (10th November)

Robert Morton, CEO

Firstly, it was sad to hear our former colleagues Teresa Lee, Bill Brady and Michael Lewis, have passed away in the last couple of weeks. Losing a colleague, particularly in an environment like the ambulance service where your station or office really does become your second family, can be devastating.  My thoughts have been with their loved ones and I offer our condolences to their families.

I’d like to extend a thank you to Kevin Smith for his exec message last week; we hope to have some more guest messages from both in and outside the organisation over the coming weeks and months. Given the financial challenges facing our Trust and the wider NHS, the message was a timely reminder of the decisions that may lie ahead.

Last week I visited St Ives and St Neots stations and got the chance to catch up with colleagues in each of these locations. I also went, along with Kevin Smith, to Peterborough station to meet up with colleagues from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to talk about their experiences of the NHS Improvement Financial Improvement Program, something we will hear more about in the coming weeks and months. I would like to have had more time to catch up with those who were at the station, but I hope to visit again soon. We’re also exploring with our colleagues in EMAS, how blue light collaboration opportunities have contributed to their service delivery to patients. I feel that together we can learn a thing or two from each other’s experiences, especially as we face very similar challenges.

Work also continues on developing our decision process and protocol to safeguard Red patients against arrival to handover delays at hospitals. We continue to engage with stakeholders and intend to finalise this before we get into the heart of winter. We will keep you up to date via Need to Know.

It’s been a really busy time for the executives, business development and finance teams, who are in the middle of negotiating the 999 contract for the next two years. Many of us will not be aware of the fact that Commissioners could decide to contract another provider, so thank you to those involved in the middle of these negotiations for all your hard work on this. And yesterday, we had the first meeting of the newly formed Senior Leadership Board. This includes senior managers from all areas, from operations to support services, and aims to improve communication amongst other things across the organisation. In turn, the group will help managers to feel more involved and aware of ways the organisation is moving forward. Don’t forget that we all have a say in this; if you haven’t already done so please remember to complete your national NHS staff survey. The results, along with the feedback you’ve given through our cultural audit/organisational health check, will influence the direction we take to make the Trust better for patients, staff and volunteers. Your voice really can make a difference.

I was recently made aware of a fantastic lady in west Suffolk who has been making knitted toys for our staff to give to ill children. Lily Abblet, who is 88 years young, had a brain tumour and major surgery in Addenbrookes Hospital two years ago, and the surgeons were not very hopeful that she would return to her home after such invasive surgery. But, she has defied the odds and is now home, living independently and very happy. Lily wanted to ‘give something back’ after her life saving surgery and has so far made 12 toys for the west Suffolk area. I have written to Lily to thank her on behalf of the Trust for her kindness and support. I have no doubt that her kind gift will have a very positive impact on our ‘little’ patients.

I was made aware of an incident on Tuesday evening, where one of our rapid response vehicles was vandalised whilst our colleague was treating a patient in Witham. Both wing mirrors of the car were damaged. This mindless vandalism is beyond belief and is currently being investigated by the police. I urge you all to be aware of potential vandals around you, and more importantly to take care.

And finally, I would like say well done to a group of staff who saved the life of a man in Stowmarket. After a very poor prognosis, the patient, who was in cardiac arrest, has greatly improved and is in a stable condition. My thanks go to Lee, Tia, Genete and Harry for your excellent efforts.

Have a good week,


Published 10th November, 2016

Leave a Comment
Name (required)
Email Address (required, never displayed)
Enter a message

(all comments are moderated - your submission will be posted on approval.)