EEAST goes above and beyond

Thursday, 04 May, 2023

A family struggling to pay the bills and a man sleeping rough are among the patients that have been helped by a pioneering programme set up by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) to signpost patients to services able to help unmet needs.

The programme which went live in mid-October 2022 after EEAST's charity received a grant from NHS Charities has now reached a significant milestone after helping over 500 patients with issues that have come to light following a 999 call and a conversation with EEAST staff.

The funding has seen the introduction of a dedicated team of navigators for patients with unmet needs who follow up referrals from EEAST and assess what community and social support is available in each case.

This new referral pathway has been warmly embraced at EEAST by ambulance crews, community first responders and clinicians in control rooms as they often see patients who require additional help beyond what the ambulance and NHS can immediately offer.

The team of navigators link in with local authorities, social care partners, link workers and integrated care bodies and have also established contacts with other community and social pathways.

Patients helped so far by the programme include:

* A family who were struggling to pay the bills and needed a warm home because of their child's condition

* A patient with no fixed abode who was sleeping rough

* A patient who was having issues getting benefits reinstated after a hospital stay which was causing great anxiety

* A single parent mum with three children and no help who was suffering with exhaustion

Duncan Moore, clinical lead for mental health at EEAST who helped set up the programme, said:

"The programme has been welcomed and embraced by everyone at EEAST and the feedback from patients who have been helped has shown how much this service is needed.

"We know that by addressing these unmet needs of patients we are having a significant beneficial impact on their health and wellbeing.

"This service is also helping strengthen links between the NHS and community and social support providers and providing a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing of the communities we serve."

Kate Lott, Head of Charity at EEAST, said:

"The Ambulance Service Grant has given our charity the ability to explore new avenues in supporting our local communities. This pioneering scheme started as a simple idea: to try to bridge the gap in supporting patients with unmet needs across the east of England. Thanks to the generous support from the public and NHS Charities Together, we are able to make a real difference to patients and their families across our region."

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said:

"This is a truly pioneering project and one we're proud to be a part of. Thanks to donations from the generous British public, EEAST will be able to provide vital additional support to people living in the east of England whose needs aren't currently being met by our health system. Programmes like these can help to further unite the NHS, community and social support, and benefit the health and wellbeing of the whole community while reducing pressure on NHS services. We look forward to seeing the impact the service makes across the region."

The Ambulance Grants Programme was launched by NHS Charities Together in March 2021 in recognition of the vital work that ambulance charities do to support the work of the NHS.

Thanks to the support of the public, the grant is part of £7m which has been allocated by population across all the ambulance charities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

To find out more about East of England Ambulance Service Charity visit East of England Ambulance Service Charity (

NHS Charities Together is the national independent charity caring for the NHS. Visit to learn more.

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