Wishing you all a happy New Year: update from Wayne Bartlett-Syree, Director of Strategy and Sustainability (29th December)

Wayne Bartlett Syree   web

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already come to the end of 2016.

Needless to say it’s been a full on year for the NHS, and it’s been no exception for us all here at EEAST. The start of the year saw a substantive executive team appointed, myself included, and I know I speak for the rest of the team when I say that we’ve felt truly welcomed into the ambulance family. I continue to be amazed at the sheer hard work and graft that everyone puts in to make this service work, and the lengths people go in the name of patient care.

The Trust has had one of its most challenging periods last year but with all of your support we are now performing consistently as one of the top two ambulance services in England. This is also reflected in the high quality of care we provide to our patients consistently on a day to day basis, 365 days a year and is evidenced by the feedback we receive from users of the service. Without each and every one of you doing what you have done, we simply wouldn’t have made these improvements – hats off to everyone for making this happen. I know it’s not been easy.

The 2016 year also saw our Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, and although we do require improvement we received an ‘outstanding’ rating for our care delivered to patients and there were a number of positives highlighted by the CQC. That should be highly commended and something we remain very proud of. The results show we have the right foundations to build on, and more importantly that we have people who want to do the right things.

Much of our thanks often go to our patient-facing teams, and rightly so as without them we wouldn’t have a service to provide, but I do want to take a moment to thank our ‘behind the scenes’ teams for all their work this year. On behalf of the exec team, thank you to everyone from IT, training, fleet, safeguarding, patient safety and communications, to procurement, HR, finance, estates, workshops, supplies, and patient experience – and that’s just to name a few. Operationally we couldn’t function without these small, hardworking teams, who are the engine room of the service. They are the part of the ‘day to day’ that often goes unseen, and their contribution is so valuable.

One thing that is certain is that 2017 will be another busy one that throws many challenges our way. The whole NHS is under pressure and is seeing increased demands on services, and EEAST isn’t going to be immune to that. The next 12 months in particular will see us having to come to terms with some tough financial challenges, all the while keeping that focus on maintaining high levels of care to those that need us. But seeing our progress over the year, the Trust has never been in a better position to take on the tasks ahead than it is now. We’ll also be using 2017 as a chance to dip into more technology and innovation, like exploring a new ePCR and fleet model, so colleagues are better supported in their day-to-day roles.

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication this year – I look forward to seeing what the New Year brings us. Many of you have this week worked what was our busiest Christmas period yet (where for the first time, we took more than 4,000 calls in a single day), and of course many more will be seeing in the New Year on shift or on call. Thank you once again. Although this is my first New Year’s Eve in the ambulance service I’m no stranger to it in the NHS, and have many memories of busy shifts from my time as an intensive care nurse. If you’re working on Saturday night, stay warm, and stay safe.

Wishing you all a peaceful start to 2017.


Published 29th December, 2016

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