To be an exceptional place to work, volunteer and learn requires us to have sufficient, highly motivated, trained people working in safe, supportive environments where they can fulfil their potential. People development is a key priority for EEAST: engaging and empowering our leaders and colleagues to develop, adapt and embrace new ways of delivering the right care. EEAST is focused on developing roles, careers and supporting education and development to support the transformation required across the Trust. We also recognise the importance of creating an inclusive environment, where managers lead with compassion and where the safety and wellbeing of our people is at the heart of what we do.
While the colleagues on the front line, those in our control rooms and those who provide non-emergency services are the ‘face’ that the public know us for, there is an important range of colleagues who support them. These are the people who enable those colleagues to carry out their vital roles. Like our mechanics, those that prepare the vehicles and our education and training department, our clinicians, corporate functions which make sure the Trust works effectively and efficiently such as those in finance, IT, workforce, estates, facilities, supplies, distribution, and communications. Although our support services colleagues do not respond to patients directly, they play a vital role in delivering a quality service to our patient.
We currently have 5,813 staff members. This includes:
- Ambulance Operations Centre (AOC) - 700
- 999 Emergency - 3,699
- Operational Support and Estates - 240
- Air and Special Operations - 154
- Support Services - 476
- Patient Transport Services - 544
These are aged:
- Less than 21 - 1%
- 21-30 - 27%
- 31-40 - 24%
- 41-50 - 24%
- 51-60 19%
- 61-70 - 4%
- 71 and over - 0%
Their genders are:
- Female - 51%
- Male 49%
Their ethnicity is:
- White - 83%
- BAME - 4%
- Not known - 13%
- Full time - 84%
- Part time - 16%
Turnover and Vacancy Rates
Staff turnover continued to increase significantly throughout 2021-22 as the global job market re-awakened. Turnover exceeded pre-pandemic levels but does follow national trends. We started to review leaver processes and established a retention strategy to retain the valued experience and skills of colleagues.
By decreasing staff turnover, through a structured plan supported by strategy, the Trust will retain valued experience and skills and will reduce costs allocated to the replacement of colleagues. We expect the redirection of any savings to be used to develop and train colleagues to further increase our colleague satisfaction and work towards identifying the Trust as an employer of choice. Improvements to exit processes, such as improved exit interviews, will provide additional information that identifies where colleagues are going upon leaving the Trust and why. This data will prove invaluable to understanding the challenges which will enable us to adjust our organisational strategies to suit.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the global job market throughout 2020 and continued into the 2021-22 period. In response the Trust exceeded set establishments and ‘over-recruited’ during this period to support service delivery: the vacancy rate in April 2021 was recorded as -1.46%. As the world begins to learn to live with COVID-19, turnover has now surpassed pre-pandemic levels as movement of colleagues within the job market returns. This has had a significant impact on the Trust vacancy rate which was recorded as 0.51% in March 2022. The Trust experienced a sharp decline in candidate applications in the last six months as the competitive job market returned, a national trend across NHS trusts.
BME % Per Month
The % of BME staff employed by EEAST, continued to increase over the past year. These improvements demonstrate the effectiveness of our multiple workstreams ongoing within the Trust focused on increasing BME recruitment. Increasing BME representation across the Trust improves relationships with the communities we serve alongside achieving actions contained within the Race Pledge signed by EEAST.
Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) Female and Male by Month
The male to female headcount ratio remained largely in parallel for the Trust throughout 2021-22. The Trust was compliant with gender pay gap reporting which can be accessed through the .Gov website. The All Women EEAST Network continued to support women within the Trust, recently working with our people services team to design menopause guidance for leaders and colleagues to follow.
Declared Disability %
Declared disability within the Trust continued to rise throughout 2021-22. Improvements to this trend was attributed to various ongoing activity to support colleagues feel comfortable to declare disability with the confidence to know that they will be treated fairly and equitably in the workplace. By providing colleagues with the assurance that declaring disabilities will improve the support packages offered to them will enhance overall colleague experience.