Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Was “donkey” jibe tipping point as ambulance directors resign en-masse

THE REGION’s ambulance service is ‘drawing a line in the sand’ following the resignation of all remaining Non Executive Directors.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has received resignations from Margaret Stockham, Paul Remington, Anne Osborn, and Phil Barlow with immediate effect.

The resignations for the service that covers Thurrock comes after a number of high-profile reports as well as stinging criticism in the House of Commons by Harlow MP, Robert Halfon who described the plight of front-lien staff as “Lions being led by donkeys.”

The Non Executive Directors have taken these actions in the best interests of patients and the Trust and didn’t want the issue of their roles to side-track the Trust from having an unrelenting focus on patients, the care they’re given, and the service they receive.

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.”

He continued: “In my short time in post I have been very impressed with the staff and volunteers I have met in the Trust – our staff do a fantastic job every day. My job is to ensure we now move forward, appoint new Non Executive Directors and deliver the best possible service to patients.”

The Trust will be securing some interim non executive support to ensure the Board can continue to operate. In the meantime the recruitment process for new Board members has started and two of these posts are already being advertised.

Dr Harris added: “At the Trust’s Board meeting this week, we heard of some encouraging early signs of improvements including better response times and reduced sickness absence rates. However, turning round the organisation will take time and we need to deliver further and sustained service improvements to make this a high performing ambulance Trust.”

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