New ambulance chief promises to “drive the improvements we want to see”

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Tom Abel, Chief Executive East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST)

The new Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) has spoken of the ‘culture change’ needed at the service which was put into ‘special measures’ last year.

Tom Abel will take up the role in the autumn from his current position as Deputy Chief Executive at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

EEAST has faced challenging times in recent months after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report last year.

Read: CQC Report- Bullying and harassment rife at East of England Ambulance Service

The report, published in September, looked into the safeguarding of patients from issues such as sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour and harassment.

Speaking of his new role, Tom says he recognises the need for change. “Many staff have spoken up recently about how the culture needs to change,” he said.

“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 his appointment, EEAST’s Chair Nicola Scrivings added: “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.”

The chair also 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 starts