We Are EEAST Briefing - Thursday 27th May 2021


The latest We Are EEAST Briefing features our Interim CEO, Dr Tom Davis, and our Interim Director of Workforce, Bob Champion.

Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoons Exec Q and A. My name is Tom Davis, the Interim Chief Executive, and thank you for joining me today.

I’d like to just start with a thank you. It continues to be and has been a very challenging year to 18 months for this organisation, and for all health organisations and communities. I absolutely recognise the hard work that everyone in the organisation, within our employed staff and our volunteer colleagues, have dedicated to maintaining a safe service to our communities during this time.

You will have all noticed in the last three or four weeks though, that as the country releases some of the restrictions, we have see a significant increase in demand on our service, and I am sure that is being reflected in everyone’s daily work.

We have learnt from 17/18 and onwards, we have the experience that we gained through Winter and the peak pandemic to fall back on. So, we are absolutely confident that we will continue to manage and mitigate the increase in demand through those mechanisms, and to support both safe and responsive patient care. But it is absolutely key that we maintain that focus, that we keep ourselves and our patients safe, and we particularly, as demand rises, rely on our volunteers and other partners as we move into next week, we absolutely recognise and celebrate the contribution that our volunteers are giving us as an organisation and our patients at this time.

I wanted to just update the organisation on a meeting we had last week. So, myself and a Non-Executive Director chaired a meeting for our regions MP’s. It was an extremely well-crafted meeting by the team and I would like to thank them for that hard work, but also a well-attended meeting from a stakeholder perspective.

The MPs were very keen to pass on their recognition to our staff for all the hard work that has been happening in the pandemic, so I would also like to pass that on today. But they also were keen to discuss people, performance, and progress updates as we do on this Exec Q and A. It was a positive meeting, and the MP’s have asked that we go back with more detail about the CQC plan and about our plans to respond to the increase in demand over the next couple of months, especially the summertime in our staycation resort locations, and we will do that in due course. As well as making it a regular event that we will meet with the stakeholder group, the MP group, on a bi-monthly basis after our public board.

So, as I hand over to Bob to carry on with some areas of people briefing, please do put your questions in to the live Q and A question box and we will try and answer them, and if not please do email me on the OCE email or my personal EEAST email and we will answer your question through that mechanism. So, Bob, over to you, thank you.

Thank you Tom. Bob Champion, Interim Workforce Director. I would just like to start by saying a thank you as well to everybody who is committing to participating in our culture change programme and involved in our management passport training as well, so a great commitment for people to try and change the way we do things.

Which leads me on to the first item, which is in relation to our Pulse Survey. So, we committed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to undertaking regular surveys of our staff as to their experience within the workplace. And it’s really important that all of you tell us how you feel about working with EEAST, the good and the bad. This survey, which is out at the moment, the Pulse Survey, is the way to do that currently so we can gather the results and work with you to improve our culture. This particular survey is open at the moment and ends on 31st May, and the link to access the survey is on Need to Know. So, I’d encourage everybody who’s in a position to do so, please complete the survey and encourage others as well, thank you very much.

The next item is in relation to Covid travel regulations, and not withstanding the confusion that has been publicised recently, we know that many of you who will have holidays coming, will be keen to travel abroad this summer and beyond. As the Covid travel restrictions are easing, some international travel is allowed, but it is governed by the new traffic light system.

The pandemic rules can change at short notice, with the introduction of new variants and changes, so no travel is risk free, but we want to encourage people if they do wish to do so, that they access the information on the government website. We’ve also put a new action card in relation to overseas travel which has the latest guidance and links to the government website, and that’s available on Need to Know.

For anybody who is in a position of granting leave, please speak to anybody planning to go abroad and make sure that they are aware of the latest guidance and ensure that they only wish to travel to countries where it is safe to do so. Thank you.

Thank you to Bob for joining me this afternoon. Thank you for everyone for your questions and finally, as always, please do remember that whilst the pandemic rate is coming down, we are still in a pandemic situation, rates can still go up as the country unlocks. It is absolutely important that we keep our focus on the measures that we need to adhere to. So, PPE, Covid secure measures, face masks, hand washing, social distancing where we are able to, and even if we have had our vaccinations then continuing to take our Lateral Flow Tests in order to collectively keep ourselves and our patients safe.

Thank you very much for your time, if you are listening back out of the live session then please do remember that the OCE email and my own email, as well as those of the Exec directors are always welcoming of questions and comments, and we aspire to come back to you as soon as we can. Importantly, please do look after yourselves, please stay safe and please enjoy the country and is locks down but remember that we still need to not revert all the way back to where we were before the pandemic.

So, thank you for your time, thank you to Bob for joining me, and look after yourselves and stay safe. Thank you.  

Published 31st June 2021