Update from East of England Ambulance Trust over late finishes…

The Trust Board, along with UNISON Branch Secretary Fraer Stevenson, today discussed the issue of late finishes for staff. All agreed that urgent action needs to be taken to reduce late finishes, reduce some of the pressure on staff and make EEAST a better place to work.

The Board heard how late finishes were the number one stressor staff identified in UNISON’s Put Back The Heart campaign. This is also reflected in the NHS staff survey, as well as UNISON’s national ambulance stress survey.

As a result the Board have agreed the following actions:

• A pilot will be established in May. This pilot will put in place measures to reduce late finishes whilst maintaining patient safety. The pilot will be led by Chief Executive Anthony Marsh and Fraer Stevenson, UNISON Branch Secretary, and supported by the locality directors. The scope of the pilot will be agreed next week and further details will be shared in Need to Know.

• Enabling crews to change over at scene, at ambulance station and hospital where appropriate; the detail of this will be agreed and published next week.

• Developing and scoping how we actively manage the end of shift time period more proactively and better.

• Engaging with partners about better managing transfers, especially during shift changeover periods.

• Working to decrease hospital hand-over and ambulance delays.

• Exploring potential shift patterns, times and lengths for new staff or staff wanting to transfer onto new lines/shift patterns.

The Board is determined to continue to work in partnership with UNISON to reduce late finishes for the benefit of staff and our patients. As such, at the public Board meeting in May the Board will receive an update on the pilot.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: “Late finishes is the number one issue that our staff have raised. Myself and the Board are absolutely determined to address this and reduce late finishes. The pilot we launch in May will be ambitious and I will oversee this personally. We will move at pace to address this problem, which will also be helped as more new staff continue to be recruited to the frontline.”

Fraer Stevenson, UNISON Branch Secretary said: “It’s vital this issue is urgently addressed to better support staff, and reduce this long term stressor. Having worked with Anthony Marsh to bring in supportive changes, such as the senior roles, a clear personal commitment, with a timeline for implementation to reduce late finishes, is really appreciated.”

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