New chief executive for ambulance service

Tom Abell, who has been appointed the new chief executive of East of England Ambulance Service

Tom Abell, who has been appointed the new chief executive of East of England Ambulance Service - Credit: East of England Ambulance Service

Tom Abell has been appointed as the new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Mr Abell will formally take up his role in the autumn.

He is currently Deputy Chief Executive at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

In a message to EEAST’s staff, Mr Abell said: “Many staff have spoken up recently about how the culture needs to change.

"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.”

Announcing the appointment, 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.

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“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.”

Nicola Scrivings thanked EEAST’s deputy chief executive and medical director, Dr Tom Davis, for leading the service as interim chief executive since September last year. Dr Davis will return to these roles once Tom Abell starts.

The Trust was placed in special measures after the Care Quality Commission report in September 2020 stated that EEAST "required improvement". Their inspection found poor leadership had fostered bullying and abuse. 

CQC inspected the trust between 25 June and 15 July 2020 about the safeguarding of patients and staff from sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour and harassment.

CQC also referred the trust to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), due to a potential breach of the Equality Act 2010.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals recommended the trust be placed into special measures so it could receive support.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has begun to help the trust address the serious concerns raised.

Ted Baker, England’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “We continue to monitor the trust closely. We will return to inspect it, to determine whether improvements have been made.”