'Major problems to tackle' - New ambulance boss starts work

Tom Abell has officially taken up his post as chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). 

Tom Abell has officially taken up his post as chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). - Credit: East of England Ambulance Service

The East of England Ambulance Service chief executive says they have some “major problems to tackle” as he officially takes up his new role. 

Tom Abell has officially taken up his post as chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). 

Mr Abell has joined EEAST from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, where he was deputy chief executive.  

He takes  the reins from deputy chief executive and medical director Dr Tom Davis, who led the service as interim chief executive since last September. 

The trust was placed in special measures in 2020 after a damning report by CQC inspectors uncovered bullying and sexual harassment with further enforcement action taken last week. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission had also said that the trust breached the Equality Act 2010 by not addressing serious incidents of sexual abuse against both patients and staff. 


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But Mr Abell said this “poor behaviour” must be brought to an end.  

“I am honoured to have joined EEAST as chief executive and am proud to be working for the trust that serves my family and friends across the East of England,” he said.  

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“I recognise that we have some major problems that we need to tackle – particularly how our people treat each other. We have too many examples of poor behaviour and it must be brought to an end. Let me formally underline my commitment to turn this around. 

“We also need to keep working with our communities and partners to create a modern ambulance service which is fit for the 21st century. I look forward to continuing to build on the good work which is already underway. 

“Although we have many challenges, including how we respond to the incredible demand we are seeing for our services,

"I truly believe we have the opportunity to make our own future. By working together with partners, we can be bolder and stronger.” 

The new chief executive brings with him extensive NHS experience having held a variety of senior roles across the region.  

This includes deputy chief executive and chief transformation officer at Mid Essex Hospitals, Southend University Hospital and Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals. 

He has also worked in commissioning and was director of service improvement at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. 

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