Concern for welfare of East of England ambulance staff after three deaths in 11 days

  • Matthew Hudson reports on the deaths of three ambulance staff

Three staff members from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) have died suddenly within the last 11 days.

The Trust has acknowledged these deaths but has not released information on their circumstances.

In a statement, the Trust told us: "We are extremely sad about the deaths recently of three of our colleagues.

"We have extended our sympathies to their families and friends at this difficult time and we have provided immediate support to them and to our colleagues, including a helpline staffed by trained experts.

"The Trust takes any concerns about the health and wellbeing of its staff extremely seriously and will always offer support to those staff who may require any help."

Luke Wright, 23, was a 999 call handler who died unexpectedly.

Luke Wright, an ambulance 999 operator, was one of the three staff members who died in the past 11 days. He passed away earlier this month after battling mental health issues for many years.

"He's definitely a hero. He saved someone's life previously. That's how we're going to remember him - as a lifesaver," Luke's brother, Daniel Wright, told us.

Luke's brother Daniel and his mother Amanda Credit: ITV Anglia

The union Unison has said that jobs within the EEAST can be stressful. It says its working with the Trust to try and ensure support is there.

Sam Older from EEAS Unison explained: "We're speaking to the employer to make sure things are being done, in a way that employees are able to discuss matters with their colleagues, discuss matters with their managers, and, where needs be, go to specialist counsellors."

The BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) staff network for the East of England Ambulance Service published the following tweet:

Winter is generally the busiest and most stressful time for our region's paramedics and their colleagues. They say just a kind act or word from the public can help lift morale.

"We do hear some really positive stories," Michael Whitcombe, a paramedic and union representative, said. "The other day two of my colleagues got some coffee vouchers as a 'thank you' for helping someone on a job which was left on the ambulance. Small gestures go a long way in helping us feel good."