Ambulance service placed in ‘special measures’ after inspectors uncover bullying
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The region’s troubled ambulance service has been placed into “special measures” after inspectors uncovered bullying and sexual harassment.
The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) will now receive “enhanced support”, NHS England said on Monday to improve its services.
An improvement director will be appointed, the board of directors will be given training and staff will be encouraged to speak up against bullying, the NHS said.
It comes after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found its leadership was “inadequate” and criticised a culture of bullying at the service.
The CQC has repeatedly praised staff and the care they give, but found problems with its leadership culture.
Inspectors also found that 13 staff had been reported to police for inappropriate behaviour towards other staff and patients, including sexual harassment allegations.
See also: Ambulance bosses knew about sexual harassment scandal months agoAnn Radmore, East of England regional director for NHS England, said: “While the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been working through its many challenges, there are long-standing concerns around culture, leadership and governance, and it is important that the trust supports its staff to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve.
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“We know that the trust welcomes this decision and shares our commitment to reshape its culture and address quality concerns for the benefit of staff, patients and the wider community.”
In an email to staff on Monday, the EEAST’s leadership, said: “We are taking urgent action to address challenges across the organisation and make sure we embed a culture that supports you to deliver the best possible care for patients.”
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They said they were already making progress, including by sending out a survey to staff, appointing a “Freedom to Speak Up Guardian”, protecting staff from inappropriate behaviour and putting in a new system to monitor the safety of private ambulances which the Trust hires.
As reported earlier this month, EEAST’s chief executive Dorothy Hosein is on sick leave.