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Ambulance bosses: We’ll bid for cash when we improve
5:40pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Local News
THE East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust says it will apply again for foundation trust status when its standards improve.
The trust has faced criticism for failing hit response time targets, hospital handover delays and low staff morale over the past 18 months.
It has prompted bosses to pull out of the enhanced status bid.
It had applied for foundation status, but says the application will be revisited when the trust is providing sustainable high quality services, operating efficiently and effectively, and the organisation is developed and fit for purpose. Dr Geoffrey Harris, chairman, said: “I am focused on patients and improving our service to them.
“Transforming our services and becoming a high performing organisation will take time, but it is the most important challenge to address.”
NHS England expects all trusts to attain foundation status by next year.
Foundation trusts have more managerial and financial freedom compared to NHS hospital trusts.
Their boards mainly consist of residents, patients and staff and they have more control on spending and generating money.
Witham MP Priti Patel, who demanded the resignation of five of the trust’s non-executive directors in June this year, said: “I welcome the change in culture Dr Harris is bringing to the trust.
“He is right to focus on putting patients first and getting more resources on the frontline rather than the trust being distracted trying to attain foundation status.
“Now the poor performing and incompetent board of directors has been replaced, the trust is beginning to turnacorner and I look forward to seeing the changes deliver the increases in paramedics and ambulances that patients need.”
“It has been a long journey and the trust has needed to improve the quality and standards of its service.
“I think it is right to say: ‘Let’s make sure we achieve the right standards before we look to the next stage’.”
The East of England Ambulance Trust, based in Cambridgeshire, covers six counties, including Essex.
! To find out more or become a member of the East of England Ambulance Trust, visit eastamb.nhs.uk
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