This will be my first attempt at putting pen to paper since becoming NES Branch Officer back in March.

 I would like to start by thanking the my predecessor  Claire Stuart for all the effort and hard work that  she put in during her time in post and wish her well in her new role as joint Norfolk County Lead.

Over the last year the NES / PTS services have been subject to a particularly uncertain time with PTS contract losses in Mid Essex & Norfolk to ERS Medical (SRCL) and that affected many staff including Claire and myself.  On the plus side the Trust successfully tendered for the PTS contract in West Essex and that is due to go live on May 1st.

tI would be nice to be able to say that the coming year promises to be less challenging than the last but unfortunately this will not be the case. Recently it has been announced that the 111 service in Norfolk will be taken over by IC24 and this again potentially affects a large amount of staff and we have just learned that North East Essex CCG have decided to put the PTS contract in that area up for tender which undoubtedly result in our colleagues involved feeling very anxious about what the future may hold.

As a Branch we will of course offer all the help support and advice needed to those affected , including the incoming staff of the West Essex contract to be TUPE’d from Medical Services

Coming from a PTS background myself I know that members of staff can sometimes feel as though the NES  arm of the Trust are often overlooked by their Branch. The frontline services grab the headlines and a lot of campaigning and work that goes on seems to be focused   around the issues affecting the operational side     I would like to take this opportunity to assure all NES staff & members that this couldn’t be further from the truth. NES is very highly regarded and just as valued by Branch for the role they play within the Trust. A vast amount of work goes on at all levels that very often goes unmentioned or unseen .

Barry Jarvis, the Branch Convenor,  wrote the following in his report for this years  AGM

“This year the branch has faced criticism for being too ‘operationally focused’ and not doing enough for those working in the so called ‘support services’. I can assure you that this is not the case, myself and other Branch colleagues have spent the majority of the year working with and on behalf of ‘support service’  colleagues doing our very best to help in any way we could. I do accept the criticism that we as a branch do not always publicise this work and I personally apologise for that as it’s my responsibility to do that and I did not provide enough articles for our various means of communication but do not confuse the lack of communication with lack of effort dedication and work that has been put in by members of your branch on these matters”

If any of you would be interested in becoming more active there are several ways you can do this including talking to your colleagues and encouraging them to join, becoming a Workplace Contact or becoming a Rep. You can find out more online or by talking to your local / station Rep

Mike Hill

Branch NES Officer