The recent heavy snowfall was an enormous challenge for us all in the emergency services and NHS. But it also highlighted a wonderfully warm and generous community spirit. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who worked tirelessly through the inclement weather to ensure we were able to give the best possible response to our patients.
Whilst we will never capture all the brilliant individual efforts, from those who walked to work through the snow or slept on station to others who made room for their colleagues at home when they were not able to travel, I would like to highlight a few of our stars:
Our severe weather planning, coupled with our ability to direct scheduled patient transport to support emergency care and respond to essential and critical-care patients, has played a huge part in the success of our resilience. Our service to life-threatened and vulnerable patients would have been significantly compromised without our integrated emergency care and patient transport services.
We also received huge support from mountain rescue services and the British Red Cross and our own volunteers.
Just before the arrival of the snow, the first data showing ambulance response times under the new standard was published by NHS England. NEAS was the only ambulance service in the country meeting the new Category 1 standard in December, and we are currently working through an independent review of our service model to better understand how our service needs to change to reflect the new standards.
Sadly, we started the year with the resignation of our chair Ash Winter due to ill health. He will be a great loss for our service and we will miss him greatly.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Ambulance Matters and, as always, we appreciate your feedback.