EEAST response to Channel 4 Dispatches documentary
Date: 07 March 2023
On Thursday (March 9) at 9pm, Channel 4 is broadcasting a Dispatches documentary about the NHS, mostly centred around the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and Watford General Hospital.
The documentary includes covert filming carried out by Daniel Waterhouse, who joined EEAST in September 2020 and left his role as an emergency medical technician at Watford Ambulance Station last week.
This documentary was made without the Trust’s knowledge or consent and we have not been allowed to see the footage before it is broadcast.
We have been assured by the programme makers that patients and colleagues filmed without consent have been anonymised.
The programme makers have informed us the documentary has been prepared strictly in line with Channel 4’s editorial guidelines and in accordance with the Ofcom Code.
The Trust takes any breach of patient confidentiality and breach of trust between colleagues extremely seriously.
We actively encourage all of our people to report any incidents affecting patient or staff safety, or any kind of unprofessional behaviour, including through our Freedom To Speak Up Guardian who supports workers to speak up when they feel they are unable to do so in other ways.
As a Trust we have been open and honest with the media and public around the challenges the Trust and urgent and emergency care services have faced over the past year.
If you wish to make a complaint about the filming of this documentary, you can contact Ofcom.
We provided the below statement to the programme makers.
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said:
“The NHS experienced unprecedented pressure over the last winter and at EEAST we saw a significant increase in seriously ill patients.
“This meant EEAST was often not able to attend even our most serious patients as quickly as we would wish, and we apologise to those directly affected.
“We are recruiting more clinical staff and reducing hospital handover delays to help get more staff out responding to patients. We will continue to boost our capacity so our service can better respond to these demands.
“We have recently seen improvements in response times but our service, alongside the wider NHS, remains under significant pressure.”
On Thursday (March 9) at 9pm, Channel 4 is broadcasting a Dispatches documentary about the NHS, mostly centred around EEAST and Watford General Hospital.