Ambulance trust medical director resigns
- Credit: EEAST
The resignation of the region's ambulance trust's medical director has been announced just a day after it was alleged 20 people died waiting for help whilst the service was stretched.
It was announced today that Mark Patten would be leaving the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), which has seen its busiest ever days over the last few weeks.
A spokesman for EEAST said: 'Having been an integral part of the executive team since July 2016, Mark brought with him a proven track record in critical care and focus on clinical quality and outcomes.'
Dr Patten gave formal notice to the EEAST board of directors of his decision in November.
Today he said: 'It is a personal decision to return to full-time clinical work at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and I wish all at EEAST the very best in the future.'
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Robert Morton, EEAST chief executive, said: 'With his fellow leaders, he has helped place ever-more emphasis on the patient journey, and how we treat the people we respond to with respect and compassion. We thank him for not only his leadership, but for also responding to patients regularly and making a massive contribution to patient care.'
The announcement came a day after a whistleblower criticised the trust for not moving to their highest state of alert during the intense pressure faced by the NHS over the Christmas and New Year period.
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On Wednesday, Norwich South MP Clive Lewis told the House of Commons 20 people died in instances when ambulances arrived late to emergencies during that time.
Mr Lewis said the whistleblower had come to him with the shocking claim after 12 days of increased levels of calls.
The whistleblower alleged senior operations managers wanted to move the EEAST to the highest state of alert on December 19 but a final decision was not made until New Year's Eve.
The Resource Escalation Action Plan (REAP) – which has four levels – was finally enacted although bosses decided against calling in help from elsewhere which could have seen the military answering 999 emergencies.
Dr Patten's last working week is the week commencing January 29.