South East Coast Ambulance Service

SECAmb’s Annual Members Meeting

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Annual Members Meeting – Friday 4th September 2020

SECAmb is a membership organisation (Foundation Trust) and every year we invite our members and the public to attend our popular Annual Members Meeting (AMM) celebrating all the excellent work our staff and volunteers undertake and to highlight areas where we are working hard to improve. This years event took place online on Friday 4th September 2020 from 3pm – 4.15pm. A recording is provided above.

Agenda and speakers:
15:00 Intro from the Chair David Astley
15:05 Video on the experience of staff during COVID-19
15:15 Overview of performance/ look back from the Chief Executive Philip Astle
15:25 Presentation of the annual report and accounts – Director of Finance and Corporate Services David Hammond
15:30 Overview of the work of the Council – Deputy Lead Governor Nicki Pointer
15:35 Interactive Question & Answer session.

Philip Astle – Chief Executive
Joe Garcia – Director of Operations
Lucy Bloem – Independent Non-Executive Director
David Hammond – Director of Finance and Corporate Services
Fionna Moore – Medical Director

16:15 Feedback on the meeting and close.

There were a handful of questions that we were unable to get to within the time and we committed to providing responses to them outside of the meeting, please see below.

Q: Whilst Cat 1/1T/2 performance is near target (but Cat 3/4 fall short) SECAmb is frequently performing as the worst or next to worst performer amongst NHS Ambulance services in England. Why?
A: As the response activity has increased since the end of the lockdown period, SECAmb has seen the levels of abstracted staff who are unable to complete full operational duties increase to a level whereby we are unable to supply sufficient operational response hours to meet all the demand that we are currently seeing.

Our EOCs will prioritise Category 1 and Category 2 calls over Category 3 and 4 calls and, as a consequence, when demand outstrips the available resources the C3 and C4 incidents will invariably receive a delayed response.

We have recently developed a 999 Performance Improvement Plan to see how we can mobilise additional response capable personnel from within the Trust and meet the gap in operational performance.  We are also looking at measures we can undertake to strengthen some of the national measures introduced across the NHS to manage staff wellbeing and expectation during the pandemic scenario.  Regrettably these national measures have resulted in perhaps higher levels of sickness absence than we were used to, all of which contribute to an excess of abstraction levels.

Q: Is 111 intending to carry out Digital/Virtual conversations?
A:  There are no plans for digital or virtual conversations within the scope of work currently provided by the Trust for the NHS 111 service. The Trust remains focussed on telephone and video consultation for patients through the 111 Clinical Assessment Service.

Q: Does the trust have a full commitment to Clinical Education in the future? This includes the infrastructure required and an investment in staff. Does the trust accept that Education needs representation at director level and not as part of the medical directorate?
A: SECAmb is completely committed to providing high quality clinical and non-clinical training to our staff. This education will be delivered either by properly qualified and trained SECAmb staff or through professional educational providers (eg universities and colleges). The leadership of the Clinical Education team has recently moved to the Medical Directorate and there are no plans to change that.

Q: Are there wider plans for CFR recruitment and schemes?
A: There are wider plans to recruit CFRs and look at developing new CFR schemes. This is part of our community resilience strategy that is due to be launched in the very near future. Any recruitment and subsequent new schemes will be based on operational demand and where best our CFRs can support and benefit our patients the most. This is currently being reviewed and will be subject to developing an operational plan outlining this.

Annual Report and Accounts.
2019 Annual Members Meeting Minutes approved at the December Council of Governors meeting.