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A welcome from our deputy chief executive

As you will know, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has now published its findings following its inspection of EEAST which took place earlier this year. Its report focuses on the ‘well-led’ domain, which was rated as inadequate in 2019. 

The inspector’s findings make it clear that we have not addressed some long-standing issues around culture, leadership and governance at the Trust. As an executive team, we absolutely recognise the seriousness of the concerns raised by the CQC, and have set out to improve the organisation’s culture, tackle inappropriate behaviour and strengthen safeguarding as urgent priorities.

We have already started taking action in several key areas, and have updated our safeguarding policies, increased support and mentoring for staff who raise concerns and improved mental health support. We have also introduced a more robust complaints procedure which will ensure investigations are effective and that lessons are learned as a result. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to work closely with the CQC, NHS colleagues and other partners to drive further improvements. This includes increasing the visibility of our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian and encouraging staff to speak up if they see any issues which cause concern. We are also introducing a campaign to encourage positive cultural change and will be surveying all staff on their experience of the Trust’s culture, including inappropriate behaviour.
 
We are pleased that the CQC survey showed our staff have lots of pride in working here, and that inspectors continue to rate our care highly. We are committed to providing outstanding quality of care and performance for our patients and to be an exceptional place to work, volunteer and learn. We cannot do that without the support of our staff, and have reiterated to them how important it is that they raise any issues in whichever way they choose, and that they will be listened to. 

We will continue to update you on our progress and of course if you would like to discuss any aspect of this, or any other matter regarding the Trust, please do get in touch.  

Best wishes


Dr Tom Davis

Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director

 

Queen’s award for long-serving clinican 


A long-serving clinician with EEAST has spoken of his pride at being awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal (QAM) for the dedication he has shown to patient care during a career spanning nearly 40 years.

Paul Henry, Deputy Director of Operations Support with EEAST, has been given the accolade in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. It comes in recognition of the hard work and dedication he has shown to caring for patients and helping train the next generation of paramedics over nearly four decades.

The announcement was made on Saturday 10 October – exactly 37 years after Paul, who lives in Norwich, joined the NHS on 10 October 1983.

“I was absolutely delighted to hear the news – it was such a lovely surprise,” said Paul. “There are so many people in the ambulance service who are deserving of an award, so to be honoured in this way is absolutely fantastic."

Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer with EEAST, said: “We are delighted for Paul and incredibly proud that he has been awarded this well-deserved accolade."



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Creating a colourful tribute to a much-loved colleague

 

Our staff have paid tribute to a much-loved former colleague by creating a colourful mural as the centrepiece of a special garden dedicated to his memory.

The beach design has been created at Thurrock Ambulance Station in memory of senior paramedic Neil Ruch, who passed away in May from coronavirus. It includes two large palm trees, a colourful parrot, a silhouette and a pair of boots, which signify the end of Neil’s last shift.

The mural forms the focal point of the memorial garden, which has been created by staff to give colleagues an inviting space where they can relax during a busy shift. 


 

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Anti-abuse campaign relaunches
 

Our Trust has responded to increased assaults and abuse against staff with a tough publicity campaign which spells out the impact that abuse has on crews and their ability to do their job.

The ‘Choose Respect!’ campaign features shocking images of ambulance crew members accompanied by text describing being assaulted while on duty, along with facts about how it affected their ability to work.

It comes following a steady increase in assaults and abuse, from just over 1,000 incidents in 2015/16 to more than 1,300 in 2018/19. 



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Special award for blue light colleagues


Firefighters who supported our Trust during the initial phase of the coronavirus pandemic have been presented with a BBC award.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) was given the ‘Make a Difference’ emergency services award by BBC Three Counties Radio at the end of September. The award recognises blue light services which put the needs of others ahead of their own.

The award was given to BFRS after the service seconded more than 20 firefighters to EEAST to drive frontline ambulances between April and August, in turn freeing up EEAST staff to deliver care to patients.



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Could you volunteer with our Community Engagement Group (CEG)?

 

Our active Community Engagement Group (CEG) is appealing for new members in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and mid and south Essex to step forward and volunteer their time to increase public involvement in the work of the Trust. 

CEG members support EEAST in a variety of different areas, which include acting as a “critical friend”, listening to staff and feeding back queries and carrying out practical activities such as helping with infection prevention and control audits of our vehicles and stations. 

In addition, members play a key role in their own local communities by supporting community first responders and attending events where they share information about the ambulance service, as well as hints and tips to help people stay well. They also regularly give talks to local groups such as WIs, Probus, The Lions and Rotary Clubs to raise awareness of the services we provide and when people should call for an ambulance.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more or would like to join the CEG should get in touch by clicking here


Don't forget - a date for your diary...

You are welcome to attend our next public board meeting, which takes place on 11 November. Read more.


And finally...

If you have not yet subscribed to InTouch EEAST, you can sign up via our website. We would be grateful if you could also forward this bulletin to any of your contacts who may be interested in reading our news.

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