“This is not a vote of no confidence”, health minister on decision to send troubleshooter into ambulance service

Health minister Lord Howe has said a decision to send a troubleshooter into the East of England Ambulance Service is not a...

Health minister Lord Howe has said a decision to send a troubleshooter into the East of England Ambulance Service is not a vote of no confidence in the management. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

The health minister with responsibility for ambulances has insisted a government decision to parachute in another chief executive to review the East of England Ambulance Trust does not equate to a vote of no confidence in the current management.

Lord Howe, parliamentary under-secretary of state for quality said the ambulance service, which is failing to hit response time targets in Norfolk, needs to get better.

This week, the Department of Health brought in Anthony Marsh, the chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service and a former head of the Essex Ambulance Service, to carry out a review of the trust.

But Lord Howe insisted that did not amount to a vote of no confidence in the management of the trust, of which Andrew Morgan is currently interim chief executive after taking on the role in December following the resignation of former boss Hayden Newton.

Lord Howe said: 'The most recent set of statistics did not reassure us things were pointing in the right direction, so this week we decided to undertake a special exercise to support the management of the service and reassure both them and the public that the plans in train are robust and correct and are likely to work.


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'That's why Anthony Marsh has come in. We think highly of him, as we do of the management at the East of England Ambulance Trust, but they are struggling.

'This is not a vote of no confidence, but they clearly need support. Anthony assessment will be complete by the end of April and we expect him to look at all the relevant issues, such as governance, leadership and resources.'

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For the full interview with Lord Howe about the region's ambulance services, read tomorrow's EDP.

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