England

East of England Ambulance Service: New interim chair appointed

  • 21 May 2013
  • From the section England
Dr Geoff Harris
Image caption Dr Geoff Harris is a former chair of NHS South of England

A new interim chair has been appointed to an ambulance service criticised over failed targets and response times.

Maria Ball resigned as chairwoman of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in March.

The service has been ordered to improve after failing in its care and welfare target with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Former chair of NHS South of England Dr Geoff Harris has been appointed interim trust chair.

'Great opportunity'

EEAST said Dr Harris will be working closely with chief executive Andrew Morgan, current acting chair Paul Remington and the executive team, to improve the service.

Dr Harris, who has also served as chair and deputy chair at the General Optical Council, said: "This is a great opportunity to assist the recovery of the trust. Challenges in improving performance, response times, recruiting and empowering staff have been clearly identified, among many others in the turnaround plan.

"I look forward to working with the trust board, staff and stakeholders to deliver the improvements needed."

EEAST provides ambulance services in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The ambulance service has revealed plans to recruit more than 350 employees to improve patient care and staff morale.

The trust said it planned to recruit 82 specialist paramedics, 149 paramedics, 24 emergency medical technicians and 96 emergency care assistants.

In February this year a report found that in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire the service had not met the national target of responding to 95% of calls within 19 minutes since April 2012.

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