New ambulance boss is trust’s first permanent leader in three years

Robert Morton

Robert Morton - Credit: Archant

Campaigner says East of England Ambulance Service Trust's (EEAST) new boss Robert Morton must listen to and gain the confidence of frontline staff.

Irishman Mr Morton will start work with EEAST on August 24 and is the trust's first permanent leader since Hayden Newton resigned in October 2012.

Mr Morton's appointment came yesterday as the EDP and Evening News reveals the trust's emergency response times have worsened in our area over the last three months.

Denise Burke, of North Norfolk campaign group Act on Ambulances, said Mr Morton must listen to frontline staff and build up their confidence in him. Mr Morton, who has led the National Ambulance Service in Ireland and South Australian Ambulance Service, said: 'I am thrilled to be the new chief executive.

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

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Mr Morton worked in his role down under 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.

He replaces Dr Anthony Marsh, who left the trust last week.

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'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,' Mr Morton said.

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

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