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  1. ITV Report

Ambulance service to be focus of 'risk summit'

Photo: PA

The East of England Ambulance Trust, which is facing allegations of patient deaths due to delays, will be the subject of a "risk summit".

Health Minister Steve Barclay told the Commons that claims against the Trust have been raised with senior NHS officials, including NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

He said NHS England and NHS Improvement, with the CQC in attendance, will meet in the coming days to discuss and review information about the concerns.

Credit: ITV Anglia

Labour's Clive Lewis (Norwich South) last week told the Commons of allegations that 20 people died due to ambulances arriving late over a 12-day period where an ambulance service had failed to move into its highest state of emergency. He said a whistleblower brought the claims to him.

Speaking during a Commons debate, Liberal Democrat former health minister Norman Lamb (North Norfolk) encouraged Mr Barclay to reiterate that ambulance trust managers should allow staff to speak out when they have "genuine and legitimate" concerns.

Health Minister Steve Barclay says there will be a 'risk summit' Credit: ITV Anglia

Mr Barclay supported such a remark and later referred to the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

"I instructed officials in my department to share copies with the Care Quality Commission - the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England - to ensure they're fully aware of the issues being raised.

I've discussed these concerning allegations directly with the chief executive of NHS England and the chief executive of NHS Improvement this morning, and asked them to confirm to me the actions they will be taking. They have subsequently confirmed they will be holding a joint risk summit regarding the trust in the next week - the CQC will be in attendance."

– Steve Barclay, Health Minister