Suffolk: New county manager for ambulance service

Ambulance on fire in Witham

Ambulance on fire in Witham

SUFFOLK and Norfolk are to be given their own county managers to oversee ambulance operations within their borders.

The news comes following a meeting between senior East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) staff and several MPs from the region at the Houses of Parliament this week.

Peter Aldous, who represents Waveney, said he welcomed the news that there would be area managers for Norfolk and Suffolk directly responsible for operations in the two counties.

He said: “What they are doing is setting up sector managers for the three areas. For us it’s ‘Norfolk and Suffolk’.

“Under this area manager there will be two county managers, one for Suffolk and one for Norfolk. The area manager for us has been appointed but they are yet to make these appointments for the counties.

“The objective behind that is there has been a feeling and a view that there is a gap between management and staff and that the relationship has broken down. These appointments are intended to bridge that gap. The area manager will have autonomy to do things – recruit more staff and if there is a need for more ambulances in a particular area then they will be able to get that sorted.

“It makes it more county-focused. The service covers a very large area and you can lose touch for the demands and requirements of different areas – rural Suffolk is very different from Watford or Southend. This is intended to personalise the operation – we don’t want to add extra layers of management.”

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EEAST interim chief executive Andrew Morgan said the changes had been made as a result of the feedback he had received from staff.

He said: “We’ve given more power to local managers by introducing sector lead roles across the patch, have put another 15 ambulances on the road, embarked on a recruitment drive to get more staff into the trust, asked staff for station-level solutions to rota issues and are implementing a new organisational development strategy.”

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