- 13 updates
It's the ambulance service that's faced a barrage of criticism over its response times from the health watchdog, MPs and many patients.
Tonight the chair of the East of England Ambulance Service has done what many had called for - and resigned.
It came on the day the trust was told it must respond to a critical report from the Care Quality Commission.
Political correspondent Emma Hutchinson speaks to South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon about Maria Ball's decision to step down.
Witham MP Priti Patel has welcomed the resignation of Maria Ball, the Chair of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. She said:
“The decision by Maria Ball is long overdue and I hope a change of leadership at a Board level will bring in the reforms needed to improve performance and help restore confidence in the ambulance service.
"We should remember that patients and their families have been badly let down by the ambulance service and suffered as a result of the failures presided over by Ms Ball.”
“...Patients across the region need to be confident that the ambulance service is being led by a strong and proactive board, and not a bunch of individuals who are prepared to take the money that comes with the role but accept no responsibility when things go wrong.”
Maria Ball, Chair of the East of England Ambulance Trust, has resigned with immediate effect.
Norman Lamb, Lib-Dem MP for North Norfolk, reacting to the news today said:
“I believe that Maria Ball has done the right thing. The performance of the Trust has caused enormous concern in Norfolk. “It’s essential now that we get strong leadership to turn this Trust around and to ensure that local people have a service that they can rely on.”
West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss gave her reaction to Maria Ball's decision to resign as chair of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.
She said: "I hope this now enables the East of England Ambulance Service Trust to concentrate on improving its overall efficiency and that the management team can focus on the measures required to support staff, address the major issue of delays at hospitals and response times.
"When I recently met with the Chief Executive Andrew Morgan in Thetford he assured me that lessons learnt over the past couple of years will be implemented to ensure South West Norfolk, and East Anglia as a whole, has an ambulance service fit for purpose. "
MP Therese Coffey has welcomed the decision form Maria Ball to step down as Chairman of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.
The Suffolk Coastal MP said: “I welcome her decision and thank her for her 6 years of service. It is the right decision for her to step aside and is the next step to turning the performance of the service around.”
The East of England Ambulance Trust has said chair Maria Ball has resigned.
The Trust says its focus is now solely on improving the service to patients and better support our staff.
Vice-chair Paul Remington said: "We are developing a transformational plan, details of which will be published next week. This will involve recruiting many more front line staff, better managing sickness absence, clearer career pathways and a renewed focus on patient handover delays."
Paul Remington vice chair of the East of England Ambulance trust thanks Ms Ball for her hard work.
He said: “Maria spent many years leading the ambulance service and I would like to thank her for her dedication and commitment through what have been some challenging times.
"Maria oversaw the formation of this Trust, bringing together three disparate organisations into one service, and its subsequent development."
The Trust has released a statement saying Maria Ball has resigned with immediate effect.
The process for appointing a new or interim chair will be started immediately but in the meantime Paul Remington who is vice chair will lead the organisation with Andrew Morgan, the interim chief executive.
Latest ITV News reports
The East of England Ambulance Service has failed an inspection by the health watchdog for its response times in rural areas.