On April 1 I am delighted to start the role of National Director at EMRTS. I have spent time in the last few months familiarising myself with the organisation, its partners and most importantly its people. There is still much to do and many key people to meet but I am already really impressed with the energy and performance of this youthful organisation. When I started working on the trauma network in Wales it was never my intention to apply for the National Director role. In the small world of pre-hospital care I was, of course, aware of the launch and development of the organisation but the more I learned the more I realised that EMRTS is an absolute gem in UK pre-hospital care and that leading it would be a privilege and an amazing challenge.
I hope to bring a different perspective to the organisation from my two decades of pre-hospital care in various other organisations. EMRTS is unique but I have yet to hear of challenges which I have not seen elsewhere. I am amazed at how much has been achieved by the organisation and my two predecessors in such a short time. So much has been learned from the achievements and difficulties of other services that have mostly taken much longer to evolve.
I feel that I am joining EMRTS at approximately the end of the beginning. Launching a service is a testing time and overcoming natural resistance to change can be tough even when the improvements in patient care are tangible early on. Individuals have given much more than should be expected to get the organisation operating at a very high level so quickly. Despite the challenges, the organisation has triumphed and I believe that key stakeholders and the population now recognise that the service, in partnership with Wales Air Ambulance Charity, is a key part of Welsh national emergency services. The recent expansion country-wide and commencing retrieval services are further important steps to comprehensive cover. Although there are still some key service developments to achieve in the immediate future, the service does need consolidation and a chance to perform in a stable environment. I hope that I will help achieve this.
Ami Jones and Dindi Gill have done a great job and I am grateful that they are not going anywhere. I look forward to their counsel as well as benefitting from the experiences of everybody in the service. I will wait a while before I try to articulate fully where I think the organisation should be going but my initial impressions are that building on the secure foundations with a talented workforce, in close cooperation with key partners, to deliver outstanding care to the whole population is our prime aim. Understanding the changing and specific demands of the population in order to deliver the right service is of paramount importance. Essential services need to deliver 24 hours a day and I do not underestimate how challenging this will be to deliver in the medium term.
I look forward to joining a highly professional and motivated group of professionals and look forward to maintaining and developing the quality of the service with them. I expect us to deliver the best but also believe that success depends on EMRTS continuing its culture of being a great place to work. I hope I can contribute and work hard to achieve both aims.
Professor David Lockey