Therese Requests Break-up of Ambulance Trust Following Meeting in Parliament

On the first day back in Parliament, Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey hosted two meetings to discuss the latest Care Quality Commission report on the East of England Ambulance Trust, which received yet another requires improvement rating. 

MPs first heard directly from the CQC and NHS Improvement about the failures of leadership and how action was being taken by NHS Improvement. Interim CEO Dorothy Hosein and Medical Director, Dr Tom Davis, then answered detailed questions from MPs on what they are doing to implement the recommendations from the latest failed inspection.

Therese said: “On the positives, the CQC does not think a risk summit for patient safety is needed but that there does need to be ongoing culture change and improved governance. I recognise that changes are being made, that a new Chair and board are being recruited and that handover delays at hospitals have almost been eliminated, with the Interim Chief Executive taking personal control of that. That said, I still have serious concerns on behalf of patients. Response times in our part of Suffolk are still not good enough, there is a culture of bullying and harassment, as identified by the CQC, that is causing significant recruitment and retention issues."

"I had already written to the health minister asking them to assess the break-up of the trust into 2 or 3 smaller services. I am pleased that the ambulance minister, Chris Skidmore, has agreed to meet me to discuss this in the next few weeks, as these meetings reinforced for me the need to make these trusts smaller.”

Therese added: “The reality is that the service has been underperforming for many years – and as previous promises of improvement have led to several false dawns, it is now time to act to break-up the service for the benefit of patients.”