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Ambulance boss jets off on three week holiday after staff told to limit time off

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 March 2019

East of England Ambulance Trust's deputy chief executive Lindsey Stafford-Scott (centre) Photo: UEA

East of England Ambulance Trust's deputy chief executive Lindsey Stafford-Scott (centre) Photo: UEA

UEA

An ambulance service boss who banned paramedics from taking extended holidays over winter is currently on a three-week tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lindsey Stafford-Scott, deputy chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), jetted off on the holiday late last month, despite paramedics being limited to no more than two weeks at a time.

The restriction formed part of the trust’s bid to ease winter pressures on the service.

The Mirror reported Ms Stafford-Scott earns £100,000-a-year as trust director of people and culture and head of HR.

In an Instagram post on February 17 she said: “This shizzle is getting real!! We’re packed! Can’t believe this is all we’re taking for three weeks. #TravelLight. Bangkok, Vietnam and Cambodia adventure is just five sleeps away!”

During her trip, she has also posted about eating a tarantula leg in Cambodia.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk and former health minister, has campaigned for improvements at the trust.

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “It beggars belief that she could think it is appropriate to do this.

“It is a complete abdication of leadership.”

Dorothy Hosein, interim chief executive of EEAST, said: “During the winter months when the ambulance service and the wider NHS face particular challenges, we ask our frontline staff to limit their leave requests wherever possible, to support the welfare of all patient-facing colleagues and maintain our level of response to patients.

“However, we do try to be flexible with requests.

“We do not comment on matters relating to individual employees and their annual leave. However, we can confirm that our executive team are constantly out and about supporting staff.”

Last week, it was revealed more than half of NHS staff in Norfolk are working extra hours to prop up the service, including 86pc of staff with the EEAST.

The findings were made following the publication of the NHS Staff Survey, which also found motivation at the EEAST had dropped, as had the number of staff happy with their level of responsibility and involvement.

When compared to other ambulance trusts EEAST was ranked as the worst for health and wellbeing, morale, immediate managers, bullying and harassment, safety culture, and staff engagement.

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