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East of England Ambulance Service comes out of special measures after NHS England recognises significant improvements





The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) has been removed from special measures.

NHS England recognised the significant improvements that have been made after the trust was placed into special measures in 2020, following concerns about culture, leadership, and governance.

EEAST has been removed from the national recovery support programme for challenged providers and systems with immediate effect - the programme was formerly known as special measures.

Tom Abell, chief of executive of EEAST, said it was a major milestone that the trust has now been removed from special measures. Picture: East of England Ambulance Service
Tom Abell, chief of executive of EEAST, said it was a major milestone that the trust has now been removed from special measures. Picture: East of England Ambulance Service

The latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, published in July 2022, showed significant improvements on long-standing cultural issues and the report recognised the trust’s efforts to improve leadership, culture, and safety for staff.

Tom Abell, chief executive of EEAST, said: “This is a major milestone for EEAST, and it’s all down to the hard work and commitment of our people.

“We have made much progress since I joined over two years ago. When I joined, I made clear it would take time to tackle longstanding cultural and organisational issues.

EEAST was placed into special measures in 2020, following concerns about culture, leadership, and governance. Picture: Stock
EEAST was placed into special measures in 2020, following concerns about culture, leadership, and governance. Picture: Stock

“Although we have made good progress, we know there is still work to do to provide consistently excellent service to our communities.”

Since February 2023, the CQC has also lifted four conditions on EEAST’s licence and there are three remaining which the trust hopes will be lifted soon.

The CQC recognised that the trust has expanded its safeguarding team and strengthened its safeguarding policies and HR processes.

An improvement in the way allegations are handled was recognised as well.

Training has been provided for managers investigating allegations which improves the quality of decision making, the monitoring of any themes, and reduces the risk of similar cases in the future.

The trust has also been recognised for its work in improving the visibility of the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, making it easier for people to give feedback and raise concerns.



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