Several staff working for the East of England Ambulance Service have been suspended for allegedly inappropriate posts in a private social media group. Chief Executive Tom Abell said the alleged behavior was “unacceptable” and “below [the trust’s] values”.
The memo sent to all trusted personnel, which was seen by essex live, warned all other staff to stop participating in “inappropriate” social media groups. Mr Abell also said the “necessary” steps taken by the trust will put more pressure on remaining staff to provide patient care.
Mr Abell did not reveal how many staff members were sued or from which departments. A source claimed around 30 staff were affected, including Essex-based paramedics and screening staff. The trust, however, did not confirm this.
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In a statement to EssexLiveMr Abell said: “We acted quickly against some staff who allegedly abused social media. I cannot give further details at this stage due to the ongoing investigation.
“However, I am clear that we rightly have the highest expectations of our staff. This kind of alleged behavior is unacceptable and falls far short of our values. It is not representative of EEAST as a whole and the many staff members who carry out their duties to a high professional standard.”
In his email to staff today (May 17), Mr Abell encouraged anyone who suspects inappropriate activity on social media to report it and cease all engagement with it, asking all staff to consider the ‘announcement.
The East of England Ambulance Service also added that over the past year it has taken a series of significant steps to address ‘deep-rooted cultural issues’ within the trust, including :
- Provide detailed guidance and training to staff on acceptable conduct, values and behaviors and in particular the appropriate use of social media.
- Strengthening disciplinary processes
- Significant progress in resolving historic formal staff complaints
- Encouraging people to speak up with a 900% increase in the number of people speaking out through its “Speak Up, Speak Out” campaign
- Significant work with local teams to help address culture change issues