- 9 updates
The East of England Ambulance Trust, under fire recently for poor management and slow response times, has appointed its third chairperson in the past year.
Sarah Boulton replaces Dr Geoffrey Harris as interim chair of the NHS Trust which runs the emergency service in Cambs, Beds, Essex, Herts, Norfolk and Suffolk. Maria Ball resigned as trust chair in March 2013 following criticism from MPs and the Care Quality Commission.
Sarah Boulton has worked a NHS board level for a number of years.
She said: "This is a great opportunity to be part of the team to improve the service. This is going to take time but having met with new Chief Executive, I am pleased with the actions which have already been put in place and the progress being made."
The interim chairman of the East Anglian Ambulance Trust has resigned early.
Dr Geoffrey Harris was brought in to turn round the leadership of the trust after it failed to meet targets for getting to emergencies on time.
In a statement, he said much work remained to be done but that the trust now had the right chief executive and was making improvements.
Work will now begin to recruit a new chairman.
The troubled East of England Ambulance service has decided to withdraw its current foundation trust application while it works to make major improvements.
The announcement was made at today's board meeting.
The trust said it would not attempt to re-apply until "sustainable improvements have been made to the service patients receive".
Chairman Geoffrey Harris added: "I am focused on patients and improving our service to them.
"Transforming our services and becoming a high-performing organisation will take time, but it is the most important challenge to address."
In December 2012, health watchdog Monitor deferred an application by the service to become a foundation trust for 12 months over concerns about its failure to meet response-time targets.
Foundation trust status means decision-making powers are passed from central government to a trust's governors and members.
Essex MP Priti Patel has welcomed the resignation of five non-executive directors of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
The Conservative MP for Witham led a parliamentary debate on the short-comings of the Ambulance service on Tuesday.
Ms Patel said: “The priority now for the Trust is to continue to improve services to patients, get their finances in order and appoint new non-executive directors who have the skills and expertise to achieve this.
"A new leadership team at the Trust will help restore public confidence and support the work being undertaken by paramedics and other staff on the frontline.”
The remaining non-executive directors of the East of England Ambulance Service have resigned. Margaret Stockham, Paul Remington, Anne Osborn, and Phil Barlow are all leaving with immediate effect.
The Service has been the subject of recent criticism over response times.
Dr Geoff Harris, new Chair of the Trust, said: “This is a line in the sand for the Trust and I thank the Non-Executive Directors for their collective action. "
"We must maintain our focus on continuing to drive up the service to patients whilst I focus on putting a new Board in place.”
The Ambulance Trust says the recruitment process for new Board members has started and two of the posts are already being advertised.
One of five Non-Executive Directors at the East of England Ambulance Service has resigned. Caroline Bailes announced her decision to step down earlier today.
Yesterday MP's debated the state of the service in parliament, following criticism about their poor response times. MP for Witham, Priti Patel, has welcomed the news but said there are still four more board members "who should quit too".
MPs from across the East have told Parliament poor ambulance response times across our region are the fault of management and that five non-executive Board Members at the East of England ambulance service must resign. An earlier report noted a sense of "helplessness" among running the Trust.
In a special Parliamentary debate MPs highlighted cases where constituents have had to wait too long for ambulances.
Responding to the debate Health Minister Anna Soubrey said the Ambulance Trust had "abandoned" some rural parts of the region .