Committed to Care: Mental Health Support

At E-zec, we’re true advocates of taking care of our mental health and aim to promote positive and effective ways to cater for our team’s holistic wellbeing. But we know that this time of year can be especially difficult – it’s cold, it’s dark, and Christmas can be an incredibly stressful and emotional time of year. Plus, the current cost-of-living crisis brings additional pressures and anxieties. But please know you’re never alone – no matter what, there’s always plenty of people you can turn to.

Justine Vaughan, Chief People Officer at E-zec said, “Despite being a nationwide business, we pride ourselves on being an organisation dedicated to our people. Our colleagues and teams are at the very heart of E-zec, and in order to provide the highest standard of care to our patients, they need to be well – both physically and mentally.

“Because of this, we’re making a business-wide commitment to support all and any team members who may be facing some challenges. The Comms team is contactable via email:, and will provide confidential (where possible) and discreet support. We’re always on hand for assistance, to provide a listening ear, or signpost to the appropriate help and support – whether it’s work-related or personal. We don’t want any of our team to suffer in silence.

“However, we understand that it can be difficult to open up, and to make the first step in reaching out for help. So, if you feel you’re not quite ready to disclose your feelings, thoughts, or worries to HR, your line manager or any of your colleagues, then please know there’s places you can seek anonymous support.”

  • Samaritans

Call Samaritans on 116 123 for free to speak to someone – available 24/7

Email: and someone will respond to you within 24 hours

  • NHS

Call 111 for medical advice and guidance

Call 999 immediately if you, or someone else, is in danger or at risk

Or, find your local urgent mental health helpline

  • Shout Crisis Text Line

Text SHOUT to 85258 for a confidential, free text chat at anytime

(If you’re under 19, text YM to 85258)

  • SANEline

Call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (between 4.30pm – 10.30pm)

  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK

Call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0800 689 5652 (6pm – 3.30am every day)

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

Call CALM on 0800 585858 (5pm – midnight every day)

Or, access their webchat service

  • Childline

If you’re under 19, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 (and it won’t appear on your phone bill).

For more support and information on helplines and organisations that can support with your mental health, check out the Mind website:

And please remember, you are not alone.

E-zec PTLO recognised in Shropshire Awards

A Patient Transport Liaison Officer (PTLO) based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is celebrating after being shortlisted in a prestigious regional award which recognises local hospital heroes.

Steve Lovell, PTLO at E-zec Shropshire was nominated for Partner of the Year in the SaTH (Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals) Trust Awards for his commitment to the industry, and his innovative developments to streamlining a more efficient and effective service.

Andrea Bayes, Renal Manager at E-zec Shropshire, said: “We were incredibly proud to learn that Steve Lovell was nominated in the SaTH Trust Awards, and we’d like to wish him a huge congratulations. He was recognised due to his dedication to improving the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) and aiming to make it a positive and seamless process for hospitals and service users.”

Steve previously worked as an Ambulance Care Assistant (ACA) for three years prior to undertaking his new role as PTLO, which he’s had for approximately three and a half years. E-zec took over the Shropshire contract in October 2021, and for the past 12 months, he’s been supporting the business with developing and enhancing NEPTS.

“Earlier this year we launched a new initiative at both the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH), Telford, to enhance the administrative accuracy and team efficiency, along with additional staff training”, Andrea continued. “And Steve was absolutely the driving force behind this brand-new programme – since our initial meetings back in July, he’s shown nothing but positive determination and motivation. While all involved have been integral to the success, it’s without doubt that Steve’s hard work and commitment made it possible.

“This is the first time that any NEPTS provider in Shropshire has been nominated for a SaTH Trust Award, and while it spotlights Steve’s successes and personal development, it also demonstrates some of the fantastic work that E-zec are providing within the community.” 

Individuals in the local area were invited to nominate their hospital heroes as part of the annual SaTH Trust Awards. And for the second year running, readers of the Shropshire Star were asked to identify individuals or collectives that have provided exceptional care and service and exceeded all expectations of their role within the NHS / healthcare setting.

The virtual awards ceremony was held on Thursday 17th November.

Steve added: “It was such an honour to have been recognised in this way, and I’m incredibly grateful for all who nominated me. While I wasn’t crowned the overall winner of this category, I feel incredibly privileged to have had my work commended – and to have been the first from any NEPTS provider is hugely significant, because it really highlights the importance of what we do in the community.”  

ACA Pip Duffy is dubbed King of the Crooners!

A budding singer/songwriter is providing delightful entertainment to the local Ipswich community.

Pip, an Ipswich-based E-zec ACA, often serenades patients on his ambulance, and has become known locally as the ‘King of the Crooners’.

Pip said: “I’ve been with E-zec just over 12 months, and my favourite part of the role is meeting so many new and interesting individuals. I love to chat with them, and with a personal passion for songwriting and performing, I can’t resist treating them to a tune! Not only do I love it, but it always brings a smile to their faces – and if I’m lucky, they join in, too.

“I sing at weddings, private functions, and in local care homes in my spare time – many of which we frequently transport service users to and from, so it’s lovely to see familiar faces in the front row. I’m gaining quite the fanbase.”

Pip’s long-term crewmate, Ray added: “It’s very rare that I don’t hear Pip in the back of the ambulance, singing and laughing. He’s got a fantastic voice, and it really does brighten up the day – for the patients and for us. I’m usually shouting at him for an encore.”

Pip’s Road-Based Supervisor, Carl Cheadle said: “It’s such a delight to learn about Pip’s passion for music, and how he endeavours to go above and beyond to bring joy to our service users. Not only does he give back to the community in his day-to-day role at E-zec, but he performs in local care homes, waiving any fee, instead only covering his expenses.

“We’re very much looking forward to the Christmas karaoke where Pip is performing with our Senior Operations Manager, Kym Young. We’re all patiently waiting – and desperately hoping that it’s not a rendition of Hylda Baker and Arthur Mallard’s, You’re the One that I Want. But, perhaps they’ll be the next big thing… Watch this space.”

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!

Supporting the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 

E-zec is proud to support an international campaign to end gender-based violence. 

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual United Nations’ campaign that aims to raise awareness and encourage individuals and organisations across the world to call for the prevention and end of gender-based violence.   

The campaign has also been adopted by UK Says No More – a campaign to raise awareness to end domestic abuse and sexual violence across the UK. E-zec has been a long-standing supporter of UK Says No More, hosting its Online Safe Spaces widget on the homepage of its website.  Online Safe Spaces is a discreet portal that opens in a pop-up window to provide support, advice and helpful contact numbers for those at risk of domestic abuse. It leaves no internet history trace, and provides quick exit options for the person seeking information. 

E-zec’s support for the international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence will involve posting on the company’s social media accounts to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, domestic abuse and sexual violence.  It will also highlight where support can be found.  

UK Says No More work with Boots UK, Morrisons pharmacies, Superdrug pharmacies, Well Pharmacy, independent pharmacies, HSBC and TSB across the UK to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing Domestic Abuse. If you’d like to find out more you can visit the website: UK Says No More.

This year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign kicks off on 25th November (International Day of No Violence against Women) and runs to 10th December 2022 (International Human Rights Day). 

Information and Support in the UK …

National Support Lines 
For women experiencing domestic violence and abuse 

Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (Freephone, 24/7) 
0808 200 0247 

Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline (Freephone, 24/7) 
0800 027 1234 

Live Fear Free Helpline (Freephone, 24/7) 
0808 801 0800 

Northern Ireland 
The domestic and sexual abuse helpline (Freephone, 24/7) 
0808 802 1414 

And for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse 
England, Wales and Scotland 
Call the Men’s Advice line (Freephone, Monday-Friday: 9am-8pm) 
0808 801 0327 

Northern Ireland 
The Men’s Advisory Project (MAP) offer help and support to any man facing domestic abuse, anywhere in Northern Ireland. 
Call 02890 241929 

Find E-zec on social media:

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

A Very Special Delivery

ACA Josh delivers baby in car park

A newly recruited Ambulance Care Assistant (ACA) was pushed to new limits with an unusual initiation during his first official week working at E-zec.

Having only been out on the road for a matter of days, ACA Joshua Hender was posed with the stressful challenge of assisting a mother in the very final stages of labour – in the hospital car park.

E-zec may provide specialist non-emergency, bariatric, and high-dependency medical transport to patients but now we can add immediate maternity assistance to the list…

Speaking after the eventful shift Josh said: “I was sat with my ambulance partner, Andy, outside Ipswich Hospital waiting for instructions on our next job. Suddenly, a car pulled up in front of us, with a man frantically running out and shouting for help.

“We jumped out of the cab, and once we realised what was happening, Andy and the dad fled into the building to get maternity assistance. I started talking to the mother in labour, helping her to keep calm, but quickly realised that the baby was coming. Now.

“Within a matter of minutes, the baby was in my arms. I wrapped the newborn in a coat and placed her onto the mother’s chest, until the maternity team came to take over. It certainly was a very exciting first Friday shift, and a day I’ll never forget.”

Prior to working at E-zec, Joshua was a semi-professional goalkeeper for Ipswich Town, and so is no stranger to making fast-paced decisions, and making that crucial save – albeit, never before a baby.

Suffolk-based Supervisor Carl Cheadle said: “This is such an incredible story and portrays just what a valuable role our colleagues play in supporting our communities as a whole. We’re extremely proud of Joshua for his quick thinking and supporting the mother during what must have been an incredibly scary time for all.

“He truly immersed himself into the role and has demonstrated what it means to go above and beyond – a crucial part of being an ACA. And, being an ex-semi-professional footballer, mum and baby were certainly both in very safe hands! Well done to all involved, and huge congratulations to the parents, who have informed us they are all doing well.”

Suffolk-based ACA Josh delivered a baby on his third shift for E-zec

Introducing the ACA Academy

Training in the Yorkshire contact as part of the launch of the ACA Academy

This month spear-heads the roll-out of the company’s new ACA Academy. The first part of this is a new, world-class induction programme that takes all our new recruits along a Journey to Performance. Developed by our Head of Learning and Development, Simon Pill, our new 12-week programme focuses on much more on vocational, interactive learning and ensures our new colleagues have all the support they need to excel as Ambulance Care Assistants.

For our more experienced colleagues the Academy then offers up a whole new world of opportunities through Apprenticeship learning and clinical development programmes. Our new colleagues in our Wiltshire and Dorset contracts were the first to join the Academy.

Following the launch of the E-zec’s ACA Academy, Chief People Officer Justine Vaughan said: “We are thrilled to have developed and implemented a Learning Programme for our colleagues which we believe truly sets us apart, with the focus being on colleague development and career advancement; we recognise that’s what’s really important to people and will help us to attract and retain the very best people. E-zec is committed to providing internal growth and job enrichment through improved in-house training, coupled with the ability for our colleagues to enrol onto apprenticeship programmes is something our teams have welcomed with open arms.”

E-zec Medical Transport has 32 operational locations throughout the UK, making around 750,000 journeys a year, predominantly delivering Non Emergency Patient Transport to and from healthcare facilities all around the UK. With over 1,400 employees, most of whom are road-based colleagues and with 550 specialist ambulances in its fleet, E-zec is the largest independent ambulance company in England.

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.