update from Robert Morton (20th October)

Robert left side in cab smiling   web

Firstly I would like to say well done to Suffolk’s ‘blue light flashers’, who met with Dan Poulter MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and Matt Broad, our Interim Deputy Director of Strategy and Sustainability to launch their calendar last week.

The group of colleagues from Suffolk decided to ditch the uniforms and bare all for a calendar to raise money for charity in memory of our former beloved colleague Gary Smithen. It’s a fantastic cause; you can purchase a copy of the calendar, available for a minimum donation of £7 cash from the team and can also be purchased for £9.99 on eBay – just click here.

Last weekend was a very busy couple of days and filled with a lot of really challenging incidents. I want to say thank you to everyone who worked and recommend that you talk to your colleagues about any incidents that may have caused you stress or upset. The Trim team can also offer you any additional support you may need.

This week, I met with our regional MPs to discuss the significant progress the Trust is making on a range of issues. I also spoke about the challenges we face in the next 12 months and the difficult decisions we will need to make. It was good to meet with our external stakeholders and keep them up to date on all the work that we are doing. Their constituents are our patients, so we do what we can to keep up the momentum of engagement.

It’s going to be a challenging financial year ahead for the NHS; at this stage we are currently negotiating our emergency service contract with commissioners for the next two years. It is very clear from both those discussions and engagement with our respective regulators, that EEAST will be expected to deliver services that are required by our patients while at the same time reducing our costs to bring the overall budget of running our organisation into line with the ambulance sector nationally. Regulators (NHS Improvement and NHS England) have been clear that our ability to attract further investment for fleet and estates replacement will be dependent on delivering on these requirements. In early 2017 we will be developing transformation plans required by our regulators, and to support the development of these plans, NHS Improvement has invited us to participate in their financial improvement programme. I will keep you informed as this situation unfolds. We will also be consulting the key stakeholder groups throughout this process.

As goes the famous line on Game of Thrones, ‘winter is coming’ and dates for the flu clinics are continually being updated on East24. I got mine this week (photo below!) and I strongly recommend everyone get the flu jab so that you can protect yourself, your colleagues, your families and our patients over the winter.

In the meantime, the clocks go back next week and I hope you all enjoy the last of the mild weather before winter really hits. We will be sharing our safety messages on Halloween and bonfire night on social media in the next few weeks.

And finally I received a lovely card from our chaplain Lynda Logan this week. She told me that on Tuesday (18th October) it was the Christian festival of St Luke – physician and evangelist, a day when the Church gives thanks to all who work in the ‘medical field’. Lynda wrote: “A big thank you, to each one of you for all that you do in treating the sick and injured”. Thank you Lynda for your kind words.

Have a good week,


Published 20th October, 2016

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