Please contact our media team for information relating to incidents

East of England Ambulance Service wins HSJ Digital Award

Date: 04 July 2023

HSJ winners for improving urgent and emergency care through digital

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is proud to announce that its partnership project ‘Access to the Stack’ has been crowned the winner of the Improving Urgent and Emergency Care Through Digital award at the first ever HSJ Digital Awards 2023, recognising excellence in digitising, connecting, and transforming health and care.

‘Access to the Stack’ has enabled Urgent Community Response (UCR) service provider teams across the East of England to directly review and accept appropriate referrals from the  ‘stack’ of 999 calls, ensuring people get the right treatment from the right service quickly.

This project, successfully completed within a challenging short timeframe, has shown how the power of collaboration and willingness to embrace change has delivered improvement at scale for patients across the region.

Kate Vaughton, director of integration at EEAST, comments: “We are delighted to have won the award.  As a programme of work it was an ambitious undertaking and the success has only been achieved by the hard work and dedication of our staff who have gone over and above to deliver the necessary changes.  The collective ambition across the whole of our region to deliver improved outcomes for our patients formed the foundation for the work – and it’s wonderful to be able to achieve this improvement through our shared knowledge of digital services and innovation.

“It has been a true partnership project with teams working together from all the Integrated Care Systems across the East of England. Working with our urgent care providers, we’ve been able to get people the care they need and allow EEAST staff to review higher priority calls faster, allowing us to get ambulances to very sick patients more quickly.”

The HSJ’s new digital awards are borne from a sector-wide desire to champion the power of digital, data and technology in revolutionising care delivery, enhancing efficiency, and overall, improving patient outcomes.

By shining a light on innovative digital projects and programmes taking place in NHS organisations across the UK, it’s hoped there will be a growing recognition of the value and benefits delivered to both staff and patients, and provide a springboard for widespread adoption of successful initiatives.

Following NHS England’s Year of the Digital Profession, organisers believe the HSJ Digital Awards will inspire further digital leadership across the country.

The judging panel comprised a diverse range of highly regarded figures across the NHS and wider healthcare sector stemming from clinical, leadership and digital roles. All 332 entries were reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Ambition – (how the project reached set goals and targets)
  • Outcome – (the benefits for patients, organisation, leadership, efficiencies and cost)
  • Spread – (dissemination of the projects success in terms of ‘pick up’ and if replicated elsewhere.
  • Value – (patient satisfaction and experience, reduction in bureaucracy, time saved for staff)
  • Involvement – (stakeholders ‘buy-in’ and how staff, patients and partnerships worked together to realise the success)

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan adds: “There’s little doubt that digital services and tech innovation is important to the future of the NHS and brings with it much promise for improved patient experience as well as cost efficiencies and staff morale.

“For several years, we’ve noticed that more and more projects – with digitisation at their core – were being entered into other Awards within the HSJ’s awards programme – and it increasingly felt that this emerging and important category needed an Awards ceremony of its own.

“So, what better opportunity to launch the HSJ Digital Awards than in the follow up to NHS England’s recent Year of the Digital Profession. It was no surprise to us that the level and quality of entries in the inaugural HSJ Digital Awards were absolutely outstanding, presenting our panel of judges with some difficult decisions! It therefore gives me great pleasure to personally congratulate East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and System Partners including NHS England East of England as winners in the category of the Improving Urgent and Emergency Care Through Digital at the 2023 HSJ Digital Awards.

The project really did stand out amongst some tough competition, every one of whom demonstrated incredible innovation and strategic thinking about how to navigate our health services through this current tech revolution. Well done to all involved- and I look forward to seeing how your project progresses and what else you go on to achieve.”.

The winners were selected following a rigorous two-stage judging process by a group of 56 judges ahead of the HSJ Digital 2023 awards ceremony. The full list of Winners and those Highly Commended for the 2023 HSJ Digital Awards can be found at


  • Summary:

    East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) is proud to announce that its partnership project ‘Access to the Stack’ has been crowned the winner of the Improving Urgent and Emergency Care Through Digital award at the first ever HSJ Digital Awards.