Line in the sand as ambulance trust non execs resign


Ambulance - Credit: Archant

THE last of the remaining non executive directors of the region’s struggling ambulance service resigned en masse last week.

Three more non-executive directors on the board of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) quit on Friday (June 28) meaning all five have resigned in three days.

Paul Remington, Margaret Stockham, Phil Barlow and Anne Osborn followed the lead of Caroline Bailes and left their posts after pressure from MPs.

The ambulance service said it was ‘drawing a line in the sand’ following the resignations.

A statement added: “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 chairman of the trust, said: “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.”

Early last month a report by the CEO of West Midlands Ambulance Service, Anthony Marsh, criticised the board for developing a “sense of helplessness”.

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It prompted some of the regions MPs to write to all five non-executive directors demanding their resignations.

The service said it would be bringing in interim support for the board so that it can continue to operate, while the vacant posts are 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.”