Ambulance Watch: Who runs our ambulance service?
09:05 19 October 2012
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009
With continuing concerns over the region’s ambulance service, today the EDP looks at the people who are making the decisions about how it is run.
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust board should be accountable to the people of Norfolk and Suffolk, where response times have been poorer than elsewhere in the region for years.
The EDP launched its Ambulance Watch campaign earlier this month in response to rising concerns voiced by our readers over long waits for back-up ambulances needed to transport patients to hospital, and long turnaround times at hospitals leading to queues of ambulances waiting to get back out on the road.
The board comprises 11 voting members – six non-executive directors (including the chairman) and five executive directors. Two additional non-voting executive directors and the trust secretary attend all trust board and associated meetings by invitation of the board.
The non-executive directors are appointed through the Appointments Commission, usually for a period of four years. The chief executive and the other executive directors are appointed through a process of open advertisement and formal selection interview by a committee of non-executive directors and external assessors.
The trust’s application to become an NHS foundation trust is currently being considered by regulator Monitor. NHS foundation trusts are not directed by government, so have greater freedom to decide their own strategy and the way services are run.
They can retain their surpluses and borrow to invest in services and the idea is that they are accountable to local communities through their governors and members.
On Wednesday, Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley met NHS trust regulators Monitor to discuss the performance of the ambulance service and its application for foundation trust status. Mr Aldous said he thought a lot of his constituents would be puzzled if the service is granted foundation trust status at a time when many believe it is not performing as it should be. Questions were also raised over a seeming lack of monitoring of performance delivery by the trust board on a county by county or primary care trust level.
Mr Ruffley said he was concerned staff from Monitor could not tell him how the ambulance service was performing as compared to other services around the country which have similar rural areas to cover.
The chairman of the board was not available to speak to the EDP, but an ambulance service spokeswoman said the county by county breakdowns and practical viability of keeping those up to date on a regular basis are something it was currently working on.
THE BOARD MEMBERS: NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Has been chairman of ambulance trusts for the last 11 years and most recently, chairman of the trust for almost five years. During this time she has overseen the local delivery of a number of major transformational and national changes to ambulance services - changes designed to both improve response times for patients and most importantly, clinical outcomes for residents of the East of England. Her professional background is in management consultancy, having worked with public, voluntary and private sector organisations for more than 20 years. Currently chief executive of Quantum Care, a care provider for older people, which gives her an insight and focus on quality social and health care for this growing sector of the population. Chairs the trust board, the remuneration and business development and investment committees.
Non-executive director/vice chairman
Joined the trust board in July 2006 and brings more than 25 years expertise in finance and enterprise risk to the organisation. Has a PhD in economics, was a director and managing director of both a UK merchant bank and a US bank before retiring in 2000. Since then he has been a senior advisor for finance and risk for QinetiQ. Alongside his work for the trust, he is also actively involved in a number of voluntary and charitable activities. A member of the trust’s audit, remuneration and quality and risk assurance committees and chairs the performance and finance committee.
Appointed to the trust board in 2006 and is a qualified chartered accountant with experience in organisations such as Guardian Media Group and Ernst and Young. Has an MA in natural sciences from Cambridge University and has recent experience in the development of sustainability and carbon reduction strategies in addition to her core skills of financial and strategic planning and business development. Was recently appointed as director of finance and strategy at Element TV having been involved in putting together the business plan for local Manchester television station Channel M. Also involved in a number of community groups, including with local schools and sports clubs. A member of the trust’s remuneration and business development and investment committees and chairs the audit committee.
Joined the trust in 2007 and has more than 10 years’ experience of working in the NHS. Has had a number of leadership roles, including non-executive director for two other NHS trusts, a member of the Essex Fire Authority, a school governor and Mayor of Witham as part of his 20 years as a local councillor. Following graduation in polymer chemistry, spent 30 years working in the gas and oil industry in various roles. He is also actively involved in his local community and is currently a director and trustee of his local Citizens Advice Bureau.
A member of the trust’s audit, remuneration, performance and finance and business development and investment committees and chairs the quality and risk assurance committee.
Joined the trust in July 2011 and has more than 27 years’ experience of working within the NHS, including Mersey Regional Health Authority, commissioning organisations and acute NHS hospitals. Has had 16 years at board level as an executive director at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with both operational experience and responsibility for strategy, planning and performance management. During this time, was also a non-executive director and deputy chairman of Health Enterprise East, the NHS innovation hub for the region for five years. Living in Norfolk, she and her family are all keen cricketers and she plays an active role as an umpire. A member of the performance and finance committee, business development and investment committee and the quality and risk assurance committee.
Joined the trust in July 2012 and is a chartered physiotherapist, who has worked in the UK, Sweden and the USA as a clinical specialist in developmental neurology. Then developed a career in health care management, with 20 years board level experience in the NHS, including three chief executive posts. Has a PhD in health care management and is the founder of a management consultancy specialising in commissioning, service redesign and integration. As technical adviser to the Department of Health on commissioning, she maintains a keen interest in the continued development of health care. Also the non-exec chairman of Cliniweave plc, a bio-tech company that designs innovative solutions to health care associated infections. Involved in a number of local charities and is a trustee for Bedfordshire and Luton Mind.
Appointed as chief executive of the trust in April 2008. Prior to joining the trust, was a national director at the Department of Health responsible for the implementation of Call Connect which significantly improved the response times of ambulance services to patients. Was chief executive of Kent Ambulance Service and was instrumental in transforming it from a one-star organisation to a three-star organisation. Also recently the chairman of the Association of Air Ambulances and president of the British Association of Public Communication Offices.
Earlier this month, he announced his plans to take early retirement within the next six months.
Dr Pamela Chrispin
Joined the trust as medical director in 2010. She has been a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care at the West Suffolk Hospital for the past 13 years. In addition, has held the posts of clinical director and deputy medical director at the same organisation. Also a volunteer pre-hospital care provider with the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service and with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. She was also the medical lead for the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Critical Care Network before joining the trust.
Director of clinical quality
Joined the trust in 2010 as the director of clinical quality. A qualified nurse midwife and health visitor. Has extensive experience of working in the NHS and for the last 11 years has been working at a senior level within a range of NHS organisations including as director of clinical services in a community trust. Joined the trust from NHS Bedfordshire where she was director of quality and patient safety. In her career she has led in areas including safeguarding, infection prevention and control, quality and clinical governance and operational service delivery.
Interim director of emergency operations
Director of finance
Joined the trust as director of finance in 2010. He is a qualified accountant and has a BA (Hons) in urban development. Joined the NHS as a graduate trainee having previously worked for a number of years in the private sector. Has since gained 13 years experience in the NHS having worked for a range of organisations both on the provider and commissioning side. Prior to joining the trust, was the associate director of finance, information and commissioning at Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust.
NON VOTING ATTENDEES AT TRUST BOARD MEETINGS
Director of strategy and business development
Took up the post of interim director of strategy and business development in July 2010 having had over 20 years experience of working within the ambulance service. A qualified accountant with a post graduate diploma in company direction. Has held a number of senior posts within the NHS including deputy director of finance and associate director of non-emergency services. Was also an advisor to the Department of Health on patient transport issues for three years.
Interim director of business transformation