Questions asked by SWF H&SCG of the latest East of England Ambulance Service Public Board Meeting

The latest CQC report shows that welcome progress is being made. Many thanks for the efforts you are making. When do you expect that EEAST will achieve the CQC rating ‘Good’ and when is your target to become ‘Outstanding’?

We are pleased that we have moved from Inadequate to Requires Improvement in this inspection round but recognise we have much more work to do. Our improvement programme is a 3-5 year plan that will allow us to embed and sustain the good work to date, and then continue to move us forwards. It is our goal to be able to move from special measures (SOF4) and remove a number of the CQC condition notices in the next 12 months, and then progress to Good and beyond over the course of the improvement programme.

When do you expect South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, Community First Responders Group (EZ13) to return to provide the 24/7 coverage for our Town and surrounds for which it was famous for more than its first ten years of service?

During the COVID pandemic, many of our CFRs throughout the region have had to stand down due to underlying conditions. We are now at a stage where we are beginning to safely bring people back with appropriate Risk Assessments. We have also increased our training for new recruits. From application, it takes about 6 weeks to get someone appropriately recruited and ready for training. Due to people having full time jobs it can sometimes be difficult for them to get time off to complete the 5 day course.

We know that volunteers fit in volunteering with their work/life and therefore we know that we need a higher number of volunteers to achieve 24/7 cover than we used to in the past.  The role of the volunteer has also become busier over the years, and where volunteers could be available for long periods of time before they had a call within their community, we are seeing and increase in the work of the volunteers, meaning it is not always feasible for volunteers to be available overnight as it impacts on their day employment.

We are always looking for new volunteers to support our communities, so if you know anyone who would be willing to give up a minimum of 10 hours per month, then please do follow the link to fill in the application form below:

Interested in becoming a CFR? (eastamb.nhs.uk)

We currently have 5 volunteers within the community, who are responding to patients within their local community, and will continue to support local communities in increasing their resilience through the volunteers, and the placement of public access AEDs, expectations of volunteer roles, and demand changes the ability to delivery 24/7 cover through volunteers has reduced.

Trauma East Voices, the patient & public engagement group for the East of England Major Trauma Network, was very grateful for a presentation from Rob Riches at its meeting on 30 March 2022. We were very pleased to hear about the excellent pre-hospital response and care being provided by EEAST to major trauma patients and the introduction of the silver trauma screening tool for patients over 65yrs old which may be something to promote to the rest of the country.

Thank you for your kind words, we are pleased that the work being undertaken to improve the quality of care to these patient groups has been recognised. Our work on the Urgent and Emergency Care Strategy over coming months will support how we look to enhance our clinical offer across our systems and there will be engagement on this through the summer and into autumn. Furthermore, we would like to assure you that we are active in the national ambulance forums where we share best practice.

Glad progress is being made on patient & public engagement. But not being experienced at community level. Please can we discuss?

Thank you for highlighting that progress has been made, I am sorry to hear you feel it is not experienced at a community level. Melissa Dowdeswell, the Director of Nursing, Clinical Quality and Improvement would like to meet with you to discuss this further. If you could liaise with Farheen Uddin (Farheen.uddin@eastamb.nhs.uk) her business support manager, to agree a time/ date for you to meet (virtually) to discuss this further and consider how we can improve in this area.