Extensive winter plan published

Date: 20 September 2018

EEAST Crest

An extensive plan which details how the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) will work with NHS partners to manage demand and ensure patients receive safe and effective care over the winter has been published.

The plan outlines the steps the Trust will take to meet response time standards while also supporting the health and wellbeing of staff. These include:

  • Liaising closely with staff in hospital emergency departments to make sure patients can be handed over quickly and efficiently
  • Making sure additional capacity is made available to maintain vehicles and minimise any breakdowns or mechanical failures, in turn keeping more ambulances on the road
  • Putting comprehensive staffing, resourcing and management arrangements in place
  • Promoting wellbeing among staff and encouraging uptake of the flu jab to reduce sickness absence
  • Putting specific plans in place for the Christmas and New Year period, including increased clinical support in Emergency Operations Centres
  • Holding daily tactical conference calls to review demand, staffing and performance

This work will be overseen by a new Regional Tactical Command Cell, which will ensure senior staff are available and on-call 24/7 and can escalate any issues which may arise so that immediate mitigating action can be taken. It will also monitor hospital turnaround data to give an overview of where capacity is available and act as a single point of contact for all external NHS partners, such as hospitals and commissioners, to improve communication and joint working.

Chief Executive Robert Morton said: “It is no secret that the whole of the NHS – including EEAST – faced unprecedented pressures last winter. We have used the lessons we learnt to help shape our extensive plans for this winter so that we can continue to meet demand while ensuring all of our patients receive safe, high quality care.

“We have been working on this plan for some time, and have tested its principles over periods of pressure during the year to make sure it is effective. We will continue to review and revise it throughout the winter to ensure it continues to meet the needs of local people so that no patient is needlessly waiting for help from the ambulance service.

“It’s also important to stress that everyone has a role to play in ensuring we are can get life-saving emergency care to those who need it as quickly as possible. We are urging people to help us to help them by using alternative healthcare resources wherever possible and only calling 999 for urgent or life-threatening problems.

“That way, we will be able to make sure that everyone receives the right care to meet their needs.”

The plan will be discussed by EEAST’s Board at its next public meeting on 26th September. To read the document in full, you can view the Board papers here

  • Summary:

    An extensive plan which details how the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) will work with NHS partners to manage demand and ensure patients receive safe and effective care over the winter has been published.