East of England Ambulance Service chief announces retirement

The head of the underfire East of England Ambulance Service Trust announced his retirement this afternoon.

Chief Executive of the Trust Hayden Newton said he was taking early retirement after five years in the post.

The announcement comes three days after the EDP launched the Ambulance Watch campaign following worrying reports of delays in response times.

Mr Newton, who took over the service in May 2007, officially handed his notice to the EEAST board on October 1.

He said: 'EEAST is a great place to work. We have outstanding staff who work hard to deliver the best possible service to our patients who call us when they are in their greatest need.

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'Now I am nearing my retirement age, I think the time is right to pass the baton onto a new chief executive whilst I look for a new focus in my life.'

Mr Newton will retire within the next six months, and the service has now started looking for someone to replace him.

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Chair of EEAST Maria Ball said: 'Hayden will be greatly missed within the Trust and wider ambulance family - we are all very sad that he is leaving.

'I have personally known Hayden for more than 12 years and I continue to admire his energy, integrity, commitment and absolute passion for ambulance services.

'Hayden has been an excellent chief executive and under his leadership the Trust has made real progress. Our clinical support desks are saving around 900 ambulance unnecessary dispatches every week, paramedic numbers have increased significantly under his leadership and more front line staff continue to be recruited to nearly double the number since he took over in 2007 when the Trust faced significant financial issues.'

Mr Newton began his career in the ambulance service more than thirty years ago and went on to train to become a paramedic.

He worked for a number of ambulance services taking up posts such as Director of Operations for the Scottish Ambulance Service and then becoming the Chief Executive of Kent Ambulance Service.

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