We were recently described at our annual general meeting as being the “artery and bone structure that joins together the other parts of the North East NHS health system”. This edition of Ambulance Matters really brings that analogy to life, with stories about the opening of our new base in Billingham to house the additional clinicians working for us as part of the new integrated urgent care contract; and the excellent innovative work we are doing to help patients who have fallen, who need to be referred to a pharmacist or who require specialist end of life care.
We were recently inspected by the Care Quality Commission against the well led domain as part of the new inspection framework. Although we won’t find out our overall rating until December, the inspectors told us they have seen positive progress since our last inspection in 2016, where we were rated as good overall. A particularly memorable moment for me was when they reflected on how proud our employees are to work for our organisation. I look forward to being able to report on our progress in the next edition of Ambulance Matters.
Our staff are our greatest asset and I was so proud to see them at the forefront of an innovative NHS Improvement project, known as Project A, aimed at understanding how we can improve the ambulance service nationally. We have also been making great strides in improving the services we offer to our staff and patients alike who come from a black and Asian minority ethnic background (BAME) and have really enjoyed playing our own part in the NHS 70th birthday celebrations over the last few months.
As we gear up for the next few months, we’re making sure we’re ready for what winter has to throw at us. We are now part-way through our flu campaign, ensuring as many of our frontline staff as possible protect themselves and their patients. We’re also enhancing the protection we provide our staff by being the first ambulance service in the country to trial body worn cameras.