Chief Executive Report


Public Board



Report Title:

Chief Executive's Report

Agenda Item:



 Tom Abell, Chief Executive

Lead Director:

Tom Abell, Chief Executive 


SR1a: If we do not ensure our people are safe and their wellbeing prioritised, there is a risk that we will be unable to attract, retain and keep all our people safe and well


SR1b: If we do not ensure our leaders are developed and equipped, there is a risk that we will not be able to change our culture, and value, support, develop and grow our people

SR2: If we do not deliver operational and clinical standards then there is a risk of poor patient outcomes and experience

SR3: If we do not ensure we have the ability to plan, influence and deliver across our systems to secure change, we will not be able to meet the needs of our public and communities

SR4: If we do not resolve long standing organisational inefficiencies we will be unable to deliver an effective, sustainable, value for money service to our public

SR5: If we do not clearly define our strategic plans we will not have the agility to deliver the suite of improvements needed

SR6: If we do not deliver sustainable regulatory compliance and develop positive relationships, we will have limited ability to deliver our strategy

Equality Impact Assessment

No negative impact identified




 The Trust Board is asked to note the contents of the report. 

Previously considered by:



The purpose of the report is to provide an update from the Chief Executive to the Public Board on the activities of the Trust since its last meeting.

Executive Summary

Winter Update

Since my last update we have continued to see ongoing pressure on the urgent and emergency care system across our region, although this has reduced from the peak we experienced in December and early January.

We continue to maintain improved levels of frontline resourcing to help mitigate this pressure and continue to work with hospitals and the wider health and care system to tackle handover delays and the utilisation of alternative care pathways for patients, as is demonstrated within the Integrated Performance Report elsewhere on the agenda today.

I continue to be extremely proud of how our crews are responding to the difficult circumstances and am grateful for the excellent care our crews continue to provide in difficult circumstances.

Industrial Action Preparation

Following re-ballots, both GMB and UNISON members have voted in favour of industrial action.  At the time of writing action is expected on the 6, 8 and 20 March.

During these periods we are asking the public to stay safe during industrial action.

This is the first time that strike action has taken place at EEAST in this round of industrial action, with both unions meeting the threshold on re-balloting its members.   

Extensive planning has been undertaken to make the service as safe as possible on the days and ambulance services which have taken part in previous industrial action have shared their learning with EEAST.

Given the dynamic situation I will provide a verbal update to the Board on the latest position with regard to industrial action.

Sustainability Update

The team continue to work on improving the Trust’s carbon footprint. Our fuel consumption continues to decrease due to more fuel-efficient vehicles, fleet reduction and decarbonisation (hybrid and electric vehicles).

We are working towards a reduction of 7% in emissions related to Nitrous Oxide and a working group has been established to develop clinical advice on reducing Entonox waste.

The team is also in the process of procuring an Electric Vehicle (EV) charge point management system which would allow staff to charge vehicles using contactless cards for payment. EV feasibility surveys have now been completed at Felixstowe, Saxmundham, Harwich and Clacton, Ely, Wisbech, Mildenhall and Thetford, and we are awaiting reports.

In addition, the sustainability team is working as part of many Trust projects including the digital transformation and transfer to electronic payslips, a welfare garden at Billericay and tree planting at Thurrock as part of the NHS Thank you Forest project. With the strengthened team there are plans to increase the engagement with the Green Champions Network and launch a sustainability communications plan.

Regulatory Update

The Trust continues to make progress against the CQC action plan and two CQC conditions have been lifted in relation to DBS and Safer recruitment. I am very grateful to the teams involved for all their hard work and extremely pleased to report that the Trust is making progress.

The Trust is making plans to access a recovery fund provided nationally to ambulance services. The plans include increasing resources and managing efficiencies to release increased effective hours. If successful, the Trust will be working on an ambitious recruitment plan to provide additional ambulance vehicles.

The Single Oversight Framework Category 4 (SOF4) support continues and we have been joined by Peter Cutler as our new Improvement Director from the National Intensive Support Team. Later in the month we will be joined by a Senior Programme Support to assist with the delivery of the Operational Improvement Plan referenced earlier in the report.

Trust Chair

The recruitment of a new Trust Chair is progressing well with interest from a number of excellent candidates. The interviews are planned for later in the month and will include a robust assessment process including stakeholder panels and a formal interview.

We are working closely with NHS England to find the right candidate for our service.


I have continued to visit ambulance stations, hospital and blue light colleagues in recent months. We have welcomed a number of stakeholder colleagues to our Trust since my last report, including:

  • Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health to our Chelmsford Control Room.
  • A number of Essex County and District Councillors to Chelmsford.
  • Attendance at Southend People Scrutiny Committee.
  • Councillors from Haverhill Town Council, alongside Matt Hancock MP to discuss response times in Haverhill.
  • Attendance at the Hertfordshire Leaders meeting which brought together the leaders of the County and District councils alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • Daniel Zeichner MP at Melbourn which included a tour of our HART resources and capabilities.
  • Sir Kier Starmer and Angela Raynor met with Make Ready and Ambulance Crews in Harlow. They had a tour of the upgraded estate developed for staff in Harlow.
  • Rachel Hopkins MP had a ride out with a crew at Luton Ambulance station.
  • Priti Patel MP, Rebecca Harris MP and Vicky Ford MP have visited our Chelmsford Control Room.
  • Joining the Chief Fire Officer for Bedfordshire, Andrew Hopkinson to meet with Andrew Selous MP and Richard Fuller MP to discuss collaborative approaches with blue light colleagues.



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