Suffolk: MP welcomes change at top as ambulance chief steps down

A CHANGE at the top of the ambulance service is what the trust needs.

That is the conclusion of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter and UNISON officials.

On Monday the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) announced chief executive Hayden Newton is set to retire.

But after a turbulent period where the trust has come under fire for poor response times and after the GMB union announced a vote of no confidence in Mr Newton last week, Dr Poulter told The Star there is now a “real opportunity to move forward”.

Dr Poulter said: “I am grateful to Hayden Newton for his dedicated service.

“I think we have a real opportunity to move forward and support our frontline ambulance staff, ensuring we have proper resources allocated to meet the needs of more rural communities.”

Tim Roberts, UNISON regional organiser, added: “Mr Newton is leading a current project which aims to reduce the number of double staffed ambulances which will make the situation worse.

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“We look forward to working with his successor to ensure there are the resources needed to deliver the service the public deserves.”

An ambulance spokeswoman said: “One of Hayden’s many achievements has been to oversee rota changes which will enable the trust to continue delivering a good service while making necessary efficiency savings through smarter working, to avoid the need to make redundancies.”