Australian health chief Robert Morton announced as new leader of East of England Ambulance Service Trust

Robert Morton

Robert Morton - Credit: Archant

The region's ambulance service has appointed its new chief executive.

Robert Morton, a paramedic and community first responder, who has worked in the ambulance service for nearly 25 years, will lead East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST).

He succeeds Dr Anthony Marsh who left last week.

Mr Morton was chief executive of the National Ambulance Service in Ireland for three years before being headhunted to become chief executive of the South Australian Ambulance Service, based in Adelaide.

He stayed in the post for 18 months before resigning ahead of a major overhaul of the Australian health system, under which the structure of the ambulance service was also affected.

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Mr Morton said: 'I am thrilled to be the new chief executive and very much look forward to working with my new EEAST colleagues.

'The service has been through some very difficult and challenging times over the last few years, but I am confident we can build on the good work that Anthony Marsh has put in place to further improve our services for patients and at the same time make this a even better place to work.

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'Having worked in the ambulance service for many, many years I understand the challenges and issues and how we can resolve them together.

'While it is not going to be easy, I know first-hand the commitment and dedication of those working in the ambulance service and that together we can make a real difference for patients.'

Dr Marsh was appointed interim chief executive in January 2014 and led the trust for 18 months.

The ambulance trust had been criticised previously for its poor response times.

Last month a petition was signed by hundreds of staff calling for Dr Marsh to remain in the post.

EEAST chairman Sarah Boulton said: 'I am delighted Robert is going to lead our trust as we look to make further improvements to the service we give to patients.

'Robert is an experienced ambulance chief executive who will be able to connect immediately with frontline staff and volunteers thanks to his paramedic and volunteering background.

She added: 'I would like to pay special thanks to Anthony who has worked tirelessly to rebuild the service since last January.

'Thanks to this work, we are now in a position to take the next steps on our journey, building a better service for patients and staff.'

Mr Morton will start work on August 24.

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