I’m sure you will all join me in welcoming our new chairman, Peter Strachan, who joined us earlier this month after a career in the railway industry. Peter joins us at what feels like an important time for us. His wealth of knowledge and experience make him a great asset to NEAS and the wider NHS in the North East.
We have so much to be proud of as an organisation and, having achieved a good CQC inspection, Investors in People accreditation and the new NHS111 contract, we’re now looking forward to improve our services further in our quest towards an outstanding rating.
The Ambulance Response Programme (ARP) brought in at the end of last year seems to be making a difference. We continue to be the top ambulance service in the country for reaching our most seriously ill – Category 1 – patients and are second fastest ambulance service in the country to respond to Category 4 patients. We are not currently meeting the Category 3 standard, although we have improved our performance, and continue to work towards meeting it.
In light of ARP, all ambulance services in the country underwent an independent review to understand whether models of care needed to change in any way in order to meet the new standards. This review has now concluded and we are currently in discussions with our commissioners on how we can work together to bring in the recommendations made by the report.
In order to achieve the best for our patients across the North East it will become increasingly important for us to work together as a region. As a provider which touches nearly every part of the urgent and emergency care network in the North East, I see our role very much pivotal to this partnership work and look forward to building on the relationships we have already established over the coming months and years.