A challenging year building solid foundations

Keith Prior 300x400

A message from Keith Prior, NARU Director

As we come to the end of a busy financial year, we can begin to reflect on the progress we have made with NARU over the past 12 months and turn our thoughts to the challenges that lie ahead.

In many ways the past year has been characterised by the challenges of having our commissioning arrangements transition from the Department of Health across to NHS England, a new organisation whose people are still finding their own feet themselves. We have worked very hard to create strong working relationships with NHS England as we adapt to new ways of working together that will ultimately enable us to continue to deliver excellent services for patients.

Looking forward we have now finalised our business plan for 2014/15 and it is already clear that finances will be tighter than ever this year, as we aim to deliver a significant 6% cost improvement plan. Despite this we are keen for NARU to play an increasingly active role in NHS resilience, and will be looking to ensure these savings come from efficiencies in the system so our service delivery remains unaffected.

In the past year we have also expanded our strategic international links, undertaking small pieces of work in Gibraltar and India, all of which is designed to bring revenue into NARU and thus ease the burden on the public purse. From a more humanitarian point of view, of course, it also enables us to share our considerable planning and response expertise abroad.

TrainingHARTThroughout this month you will see plenty of stories related to the NARU Education Centre. For many they are the most tangible representation of what NARU is all about and I have been especially proud of their work over the past year.

In recognition of this, the NARU Education Centre has received a Best Team Award at the West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive’s Awards ceremony for their work in organising Exercise Amber 2, and has also been nominated for the Advancing Healthcare Awards 2014 Special Achievement Award in April, so our fingers are crossed for that one!

NARU will spend next year continuing to deliver excellence in everything we do, working with our stakeholders every step of the way.

Finally, if you haven’t already signed up to attend AMBITION 2014 which is supported by AACE and NARU, I would urge you to do so now. Aside from some interesting free seminars and demonstrations, a conference stream and numerous opportunities for networking and meeting new contacts, you can also visit our stand and meet the NARU team. Contact carl.rees@reesps.com for more details and possible free VIP tickets.