Working with London Ambulance Service

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I would like to start this bulletin with a thank you to all the staff who have worked so hard and shown fantastic flexibility and commitment to patient care over the last few days.
This Christmas and New Year period has been an exceptionally challenging one for the NHS in general and ambulance services in particular.
Here in EEAST, along with ambulance services around the country, are seeing exceptionally high levels of demand coupled with hospital and community providers who are also experiencing significant challenges.

In recent days, we, along with other services bordering the capital, have been providing assistance to London Ambulance Service (LAS) to help them continue to provide a safe response to their patients.
This has been part of a mutual aid agreement where ambulance crews and call handling services can be focussed on the areas of greatest need. Thank you to our crews and call handlers who have been providing this help. We have been working with LAS and UNISON to ensure that the experience for our crews in London is as smooth as it can be to ensure that they can provide the best and most effective care. A number of challenges have been highlighted around the different processes between the organisations and the following actions are now in train:

  • Providing a written guide to EEAST crews on the main pathway and operational differences between EEAST and LAS
  • Ensuring that LAS briefings on dynamic changes e.g. diverts, can be shared with EEAST crews
  • Providing SPOC resources for EEAST crews assisting LAS and a single point of contact that is embedded with LAS for dynamic problem solving and providing a single point of contact for EEAST crews to dynamically problem solve and support
  • Ensuring EEAST crews have access to the same wellbeing and welfare interventions (e.g. TRIM) after working with LAS as they would be in EEAST

It is likely that the current challenges within LAS and elsewhere will continue and change over the coming weeks. I have been incredibly impressed with the professionalism, flexibility and focus on patient care that I have seen in recent days and weeks and I am confident that we will be able to continue to provide excellent services to our patients in the East of England while collaborating with colleagues in other services to support them when necessary. We will endeavour to provide regular updates through NTK on this developing situation.

John Syson
Interim Director of Workforce