Lifetime Achievement Award for E-zec Volunteer Driver

Volunteer Driver wins Lifetime Achievement award

A Suffolk-based volunteer has been presented with a community award after dedicating years of his life to supporting his local town. 

Glenn Barker, aged 70, from Bury was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement accolade at the Bury Free Press Community Awards recently, after being nominated and recognised for his contribution as a Volunteer Car Service (VCS) driver for E-zec in Suffolk.

Glenn said: “I’m still a little overwhelmed after receiving this award – I can’t believe it. I absolutely love what I do, and have been a VCS driver for E-zec since the inception of the Suffolk/Waveney contract back in 2019. Before this, I was a VCS driver for the East of England Ambulance Service for 10 years.

“About 16 years ago, I suffered a cardiac arrest. After a spell in hospital and eight weeks in rehabilitation, my only means of accessibility was through hospital transport. I was so incredibly grateful for this service, which allowed me to remain a sense of independence. So, I made it my mission to return to full health, and become part of this incredible initiative at E-zec”.

The Lifetime Achievement award recognises those who have, over a lifetime, made significant positive contributions to Bury, striving to make it a better place for those within it. Glenn was nominated due to going above and beyond – he’s driven over 900,000 miles, and has been known to personally contact service users the day before transport is arranged to ease anxieties and boost familiarity.

“The most rewarding part of the job is the people that you meet,” Glenn continued. “In my time, I’ve come across some wonderful individuals, and being able to play just a small part of the journey – in what is typically a daunting or scary time of their life – is an absolute pleasure. For example, I’ve taken young adults who’ve had kidney transplants to post-op care, and have tried to relieve some stress and anxiety for service users attending oncology appointments. 

“I’m incredibly humbled – thank you to those who nominated me. And to anyone considering becoming a VCS driver – do it! It truly is the most rewarding job in the world.”

Darron Burns, Regional Manager at E-zec Suffolk added: “On behalf of the entire E-zec team, we’d like to wish Glenn huge congratulations for this fantastic recognition. We’re incredibly lucky to have a wonderful team of VCS drivers on the ground, supporting our communities and playing an integral role in the business”.

Congratulations and very well done Glenn! We truly appreciate you!

Training with Basegreen: First Steps

Last week saw training provider Basegreen visiting E-zec’s Shrewsbury, Shropshire operations to speak to existing Ambulance Care Assistant (ACA) colleagues about their personal and career aspirations. E-zec is completely committed to supporting its people through government-funded development to help them achieve their goals.

ACAs in Shrewsbury have shown a real interest, with the whole base buzzing with how E-zec is delivering on its promise of further development and training.

Of the visit, Basegreen CEO, Mathew Woodhead said: “It’s fabulous to see so many ACAs taking an interest in developing their skills and ultimately their careers.”

Simon Pill, E-zec’s Head of Learning and Development said: “It feels great to deliver on what we promised, which was development for all, and we are just starting this journey. Over the coming days and weeks we will be visiting our Hereford, Worcester and Redruth bases. Early next year, we will visit each of E-zec’s operational hubs to give all our ACAs the opportunity to grow.”

Basegreen paid a visit to E-zec’s Shrewsbury operations to talk about progression within the company

E-zec publishes its Quality Account for 2021/2022

Organisations are required under the Health Act 2009 and subsequent Health and Social Care Act 2012 to produce Quality Accounts if they deliver services under an NHS Standard Contract, have staff numbers over 50 and NHS income greater than £130k per annum.

A Quality Account is an annual published report about the quality of services and improvements offered by NHS healthcare providers.

From Mike Woodall, E-zec’s Chief Operating Officer: 

I am pleased to introduce the annual Quality Account for 2021/22. This document is both forward looking and retrospective. It sets out the work we have done over the past year to improve the quality of our care and keep patients safe and provides information on our priorities for 2022/23.

The start of this financial year saw us in the grip of a second wave of COVID with the effects of the Alpha and then subsequently the Omicron variants impacting heavily on our services and on those of our system partners.

COVID-19 has had a very significant impact on the NHS and NHS providers across the country and we have seen how it has stretched services and people to near breaking point. But E -zec Medical’s staff can be proud of how they responded and continue to keep themselves, our service users, and the community safe.

It is a remarkable achievement for this organisation that in a year of so much change and difficulty, our people have continued to improve the services that we provide and have taken great strides forward in delivering a great people, great place strategy.

Our improvement journey, continues at pace and we end this year very much looking forward to a potential visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the opportunity to demonstrate how far we have come

We have been ensuring that our ‘business as usual’ functions maintained the quality and safety of our services, while striving to provide the best possible response to our patients. Some of our key achievements during 2021/22 have been:

• Our continued focus on staff and service user safety

• Delivery of quality assurance work aligned to our CQC ratings

• Achieving our Right Care strategy goals

• The development of a new quality strategy using feedback from both service users and staff

• Maintenance of staff safety (RIDDOR reports) and we are proud of the extensive work we have done to protect our staff from Covid-19 workplace transition

We continue to receive positive feedback on the improvements that we are making and look forward to what we can achieve in the coming year on behalf of the people who use our services. 

E-zec Worcester rated as GOOD by the CQC

E-zec is delighted to announce that its Worcester Operations have been rated Good by the CQC following an unannounced comprehensive inspection looking into all aspects of the service.

The service was rated as good because:

• The service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. The service controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients, acted on them and kept good care records. The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them. Staff collected safety information and used it to improve the service.

• Staff provided good care and treatment. The service mostly met agreed response times. Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent.

• Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.

• The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.

• Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff mostly understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. The service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually.

Following the publication of the Worcester report, E-zec’s CEO Craig Smith was keen to reflect on it as another clear step forwards in desire to deliver the very best service to patients: “It is really pleasing to see the positive progression in our latest CQC report. Getting ‘Good’ across all five quality domains is a great achievement and is a clear inflection point of our Quality Strategy. Our core value of ‘Listening, Learning and Adapting’ is instilling a culture of unrelenting pursuit of excellence across the business. We will ensure the feedback received will create clear action plans to support our overall aspiration to deliver the very highest quality of services to our service users.  Well done to the whole team who contributed to the outcome.”

And Fay Downes, Senior Operations Manager for Worcester spoke of her pride for the team she manages:

“I have thanked them for all the hard work, efforts, support and their commitment to the contract, to E-zec and our service users. It really has been a team effort and I am so appreciative of my team.”

E-zec Worcestershire’s fleet includes 38 ambulances and has its main base in Worcester, with satellite bases in Kidderminster and Redditch. 

The CQC’s full report can be found here.

E-zec’s ongoing court case with HMRC: the latest

E-zec ambulance

“The team here at E-zec has recently received some positive news in an ongoing case against HMRC, and whilst it’s not yet all set in stone we did want to share an update. Along with other PTS providers, we’ve been challenging HMRC on an element of VAT law and how they classify some of the vehicles used across the patient transport sector. The case was finally heard and considered, and the Judge agreed with us that the current interpretation wasn’t right, and was causing real inconsistency across the board. His judgement gave clarity for the whole industry moving forwards. 

HMRC have the right to appeal but if the original decision remains unchanged we do see this as a milestone for the sector. The suggested new VAT rules would allow us, and all others who transport patients in the same way, to operate to the same rules as others in allied industries. Importantly, it will also remove a key business risk that we’ve have had to invest significant time and resource to manage. This resource will now be freed up to further support our people, our clients and their patients. 

We’ll know whether HMRC intends to appeal later in October and we’ll be in touch again then to let you know. For now though, we’re pleased to have taken a stand for what we believe was right, and – hopefully – for a more level playing field moving forwards.”

Rob Harvey, Chief Financial Officer