East: Chair Of Ambulance Trust Resigns

A week after another report criticised the East of England Ambulance Service, the chairwoman of the Trust Maria Ball has resigned.

On March 20th a Care Quality Commission report said the ambulance services' response times had got worse worse since its last inspection.

The trust has told Heart it's working on an improvement plan including recruiting more staff and details will be revealed next week.

Paul Remington the Vice Chair of the Trust will lead the organisation with Andrew Morgan, the Interim Chief Executive.

Paul commented: "Maria has 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.

We now must concentrate on looking forward and focusing solely on how we improve our service to patients and better support our staff. 

To that end 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.''

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert said he welcomes the resignation, commenting: "It is clear that the East of England Ambulance Service has not been performing as well as it needs to be, with people having to wait far too long in many cases for ambulances.

It's not all the fault of the NHS trust; in many cases, hospitals haven't been fast enough in taking patients off the ambulances.

I think the new Chief Executive, and now the new Chair, will be able to make a real difference, because people deserve a good, decent, fast ambulance service."