Reflecting on the last year at North East Ambulance Service

A review of 2020-21

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) reflected back on the last year at its annual general meeting (AGM) and Annual Members' Meeting today (September 27).

The AGM is an important event in the NEAS calendar, enabling the public, members, staff, governors and valued stakeholders to hear the Trust's review of 2021/21 and to view the Trust’s new five-year strategy.

The event also marks the formal presentation of the Trust's Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/21, including the Quality Report.

This year’s event was once again held virtually due to the pandemic.

Like all NHS and emergency services, NEAS has been faced with unprecedented demands on its service over the last year.

Despite this, the service:

  • answered 439,940 999 calls
  • answered 864,050 NHS 111 calls
  • treated 34,306 patients over the phone
  • transported 266,013 urgent and emergency care patients to hospital
  • completed 284,507 journeys for patients with planned appointments and treatment, such as dialysis and chemotherapy
  • treated 127,352 patients at home

Highlights from the last year have included:

  • Supporting the region’s vaccination programme, including running internal vaccination clinics
  • Meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson
  • Adopting new technologies in response to the challenges presented by the pandemic
  • Upgrading in-vehicle mobilisation devices (Terrafix), with Wi-Fi installed to allow the automated updating of maps on the vehicles
  • Implementing a Transfer of Care project which allows ambulance systems to digitally pass patient information and improving the efficiency of patient handovers
  • Replacing the telephony system to increase resilience within the Emergency Operations Centre
  • Signing the Armed Forces Covenant as part of a commitment to support our Armed Forces community

Helen Ray, chief executive, said: Colleagues and volunteers right across our services have worked tirelessly since the start of the pandemic to deliver safe and high-quality care to our patients. Our teams did this whilst responding to new and rapidly changing safety protocols and, most importantly whilst looking after each other through some of the most challenging times our service has faced.

“I am immeasurably proud of our teams, NEASUS colleagues and our hugely valued volunteers who have worked tirelessly and with dedication, compassion and care under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. My sincere thanks also go to our partners and to members of the public. You have provided our Trust with incredible support and encouragement during this pandemic.

“We now need to take the learning from this and look forward to recovery and restoration and I am delighted that our Board of Directors approved the Trust’s new five-year strategy in March 2021. This sets our ambition for the future and I am now looking forward to working with colleagues and stakeholders to develop the detailed plans that I know will take us from strength to strength.

“We are very clear that patients are at the heart of our new strategy and we will, as we develop the steps to bring our strategy to life, maintain our strong focus on our amazing people, our partnership, our performance and on ensuring we develop the right conditions in terms of capacity and capability to provide the levels of quality and safety that each person who needs our service deserves and should expect to receive.

“It has been a year of challenge and there is more to face but I am confident that we can build a new approach that will see NEAS move from strength to strength.”

Read North East Ambulance Service’s review of the year here

A recording of the meeting is available to watch here

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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