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Minister says ambulance bosses should ‘examine their own consciences’

PUBLISHED: 17:33 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:33 25 June 2013

The region's MPs are debating the performance of the East of England Ambulance Trust.

The region's MPs are debating the performance of the East of England Ambulance Trust.

Archant 2013

Health minister Anna Soubry said non-executive board members at the region’s failing ambulance trust should examine their own consciences as MPs hit out at a “rotten culture” in the Trust.

At a debate in parliament today Witham MP Priti Patel said the East of England Ambulance Trust had experienced serious issues of accountability and leadership mismanagement and was suffering from the “rotten culture” refered to by Suffolk MP Dan Poulter earlier this week.

It comes after a damning review of the Trust earlier this month accused the leadership of a lack of focus and being too weak.

In the Westminster Hall debate Broadland MP Keith Simpson asked if there was a systemic “culture of failure” and of “buck passing” not just at the ambulance trust but in other areas of the NHS and the public sector.

He warned that a new board could be appointed who “may very well be recycled individuals from the ‘quangocracy’ who have perhaps failed in other parts of the country.”

Answered MPs concerns during the 90 minute debate, Ms Soubry, said: “I think the secretary of state has made it quite clear that it is not a culture that he will accept and he is now becoming the champion of the patient.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and Ms Patel last week wrote to the non-executive directors of the East of England Ambulance Service calling on them to step down over “inept” leadership.

The letter was sent on June 13 and the board’s chairman said two of the directors would leave when their terms end this summer.

In the debate Ms Patel question the minister on the position of the non-executive directors and why they had not resigned.

Ms Soubry said: “I know of no reason why they shouldn’t. It is a matter of their own consciences.”

But she added: “I am not normally one to shy away from giving an opinion, but I think in this instance it is important the ministers don’t get involved and don’t give an opinion. It would be improper. It is for those who serve in these position to examine their own position and own consciences and act accordingly.”

The region’s mental health trust has pledged to eradicate the use of out of area beds by 2021.

Essex has seen a dramatic rise in possession of weapons offences over the last 12 months - increasing by 50% on the year before, new figures reveal.

An Ipswich resident whose 
street was targeted by car vandals says she has found it hard to sleep through fear they will return.

A Suffolk benefit cheat who was overpaid £28,000 after failing to mention he jointly owned a property with his partner has been given a suspended prison sentence.

The jury in the trial of four men accused of murdering father-of-five Dean Stansby has been hearing how evidence was collected during the investigation.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, and Chief Constable Gareth Wilson are staging a series of public meetings across the county through the coming months – and are encouraging Suffolk residents to attend.

Violent crime rose almost a third in Suffolk last year, according to latest figures.

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