PBTH campaign update… late finishes…

On 30th April the Board are being asked to ratify and endorse a proposal to reduce late finishes. This proposal comes out of the #PBTH campaign meetings with the execs, and is fully documented in UNISONs April newsletter.

UNISON Eastern have been very supportive of our #PBTH campaign, agreeing to fund our film, which is currently in the editing stages. The final edit will depend on the Boards decision this week.  The personal stories staff shared as part of our filming were emotive, powerful, and I hope will make all the decision makers in the trust pause for thought.

It’s really appreciated Anthony Marsh has supported the filming; understands the need for this campaign, and supports its ethos.

UNISON nationally is working on tackling the issues in Ambulance sector, through supporting branches locally, and also reviving the National Ambulance Strategic Partnership Forum (NASPF). This aims to better working conditions and support the additional elements offered to Ambulance Sector as part of the NHS pay offer. There are three main areas that the NASPF will look at: retention and recruitment, retirement sharing costs, and the working longer group. In November the group will report to the NHS staff council.

The news last week the Board are now advertising for a new CEO, rather than taking the option of keeping the arrangement going with Anthony Marsh and West Midlands is worrying.

I have recently returned from UNISONs national health conference, and speaking to other branch Secretaries we need to be very cautious over a possible change of CEO.  There is not a glut of experienced, supportive CEOs in Ambulance sector, and although I do believe we are moving in the right direction, our recovery is very fragile.

I’m not sure who the Board expect to recruit, given the past failed attempts, and the political support that was needed. Having the national Ambulance advisor as our CEO, in the current political climate, given the uncertainly from the general election, can only be advantageous to our future.

The last two CEOs, prior to Anthony Marsh, are pretty memorable for rota redesign, chasing targets with RRVs, harmonisation, a narrow miss over Foundation Trust, at the cost of frontline staff, and a command and control style of management we still see in areas of the trust. We are still paying for the past lack of vision, lack of strength, lack of compassion and lack of leadership, although both of those CEOs appeared to be fully supported by the Board, and left with a pat on the back, and tears at the public Board. I really hope our current Board reflect on that history, and fully think through their choices, because from where I’m standing, it does not appear they are acting in our best interests.

Change means doing things differently, and that’s not always an easy thing for people to embrace. Myself and the campaign committee are determined to make sure staff are put back at the heart of our Ambulance Trust – if we lose a supportive CEO, who shares our passion to better support staff, that might be a lot harder to achieve.

We’ll share an update as soon as possible after the Board meeting.

Kind regards,


Fraer Stevenson

UNISON Branch Secretary

East of England Ambulance Branch 20106


‘Put back the Heart’ – a UNISON campaign to put staff back at the heart of our Ambulance Trust: www.facebook.com/groups/putbacktheheart

Twitter: @fraerstevenson #PBTH

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