Troubled ambulance trust appoints new chief executive

Tom Abell has been appointed as the new chief executive of EEAST. 

Tom Abell has been appointed as the new chief executive of EEAST. - Credit: EEAST

The region's troubled ambulance trust has appointed a new chief executive - and he has pledged to improve the culture of the organisation.

Tom Abell, who is currently deputy chief executive at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, will take up the role at the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) in the autumn.

His predecessor Dorothy Hosein stood down at the start of this year after taking a period of sick leave. 

The trust was placed in special measures in 2020 after a damning report by CQC inspectors uncovered bullying and sexual harassment with further enforcement action taken last week.

Mr Abell said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as chief executive.

"Having grown up in Norfolk and spent the vast majority of my career working across the East of England, I know the difference our staff make to the people we serve.

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"I also know that, despite the professional and personal challenges we have all faced during the pandemic, EEAST has performed incredibly well operationally.

“Many staff have spoken up recently about how the culture needs to change.

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"Work has already begun to create positive change at EEAST and as chief executive, a key part of my role will be to support and equip staff to drive the improvements we want to see.

"These changes are ultimately the best way to make sure we provide excellent care to everyone in the East of England for the long-term.”

Last week, the trust was told by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that it has breached the Equality Act 2010 by not addressing serious incidents of sexual abuse against both patients and staff.

Interim chief executive Dr Tom Davis will return to his role as EEAST's deputy chief executive and medical director. 

EEAST’s chair Nicola Scrivings said: “Tom brings significant experience in the NHS and, just as importantly, has been a key part in building a positive culture for staff.

“These qualities will be central to building and leading a stable and successful executive team to continue to improve our culture for our valued staff, and maintain high-quality services for our patients.”

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