When I became the new Chairman last month one of my key priorities was to improve the way we communicate with both our members and our schemes. It is an essential and of paramount strategic importance for me, especially as we are spread out across the country.
With that thought in mind I am introducing my new monthly Chairman’s blog, where I will be sharing the latest developments at the association and talking about some important topics within the sector.
I thought that the best place to start would be reflecting on the previous year.
- Leadership, focus and vision
I feel a little bit of a fraud talking about the last year and what we have done as for ten months of it I have not been our Chairman. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tony Kemp, who stood down in November as Chair, for his leadership, focus and vision over the last three years. Whilst Tony is the first to admit that it was a team effort, his leadership in getting us to where we are now has been absolutely critical.
I am very pleased to announce that we will not be losing Tony as he applied for and was successful, following an open, transparent and rigorous recruitment process, in his application for the Chief Officer role of the association. I am looking forward to him starting his new role with us in early 2020.
- Working towards a new charity
We are now on the verge of becoming a new charity which is constructed appropriately to allow us to continue and grow in 2020 and beyond
There has been a significant amount of work going on over the last twelve months. Most of my time, and that of the Senior Leadership team, has been constructing the new Articles of Associations, the rule book, and the bye laws for the new charity. This has been a mammoth task and my thanks goes to Tony who led this.
- Developing improved education courses
During the year we have had reviewed our education courses. These have undergone significant changes to meet the needs of not only our members but also the organisations who use us to provide their prehospital care training. The Pre-Hospital Care Course (PHECC) has been modernised and a new five-day Immediate Care Course has been produced. The latter course will now be separate from the PHECC and will be five days for those who have a duty to respond either as part of a scheme or needing additional and enhanced thinking and skills. The new suite of courses will launch in 2020 with some opportunities for members to be part of some pilot courses in the first half of the year. More details will be available in the new year.
- New funding support for immediate care schemes through the HELP Appeal
In the summer we launched an exciting partnership with the HELP appeal to support equipping schemes with cars or members of schemes with support to ensure their cars are safely lit and have the right equipment to respond. We have some funding left over and so we will go back out in early 2020 to support schemes. The details of how schemes can apply and what can be applied for will be available in early 2020.
We will start the process for the 2020 Help Appeal funding in early summer and we will announce schemes who will receive support at our conference in 2020.
- Conference development
We had a successful conference in October this year. I want to thank Andy Pountney the Vice Chair of the association, who led our conference committee. Planning is already underway for 2020 with some exciting speakers and activities already being planned. The two days had an attendance of about 100 people each day with a lovely dinner on the first night. I wish to acknowledge all the award winners and thank them for their personal contribution to our great association. I am always humbled when I read out the citations of what people have done for the association and immediate care locally. They are worthy winners and deserve their recognition.
In my next blog in January I hope to announce the next round of grants and bursaries. This is another opportunity for members to apply to the association for support to undertake research of activity in immediate care.
I would like to end by wishing all our members, colleagues and their families a Very Merry and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New 2020. If you are working or on call as part of a scheme, please take care and make time for your loved ones.