Another new face joins ambulance trust as CEO sick leave continues

Ambulance service chief executive Dorothy Hosein, centre, has been off sick since September. Dr Tom Davis (left) is acting...

Ambulance service chief executive Dorothy Hosein, centre, has been off sick since September. Dr Tom Davis (left) is acting CEO and Dr Sreeman Andole (right) who is the new improvement director - Credit: EEAST/Archant

The chief executive of the region’s troubled ambulance trust remains off sick three months after a critical inspection report – with its medical director stepping up as acting CEO and another doctor taking over his duties.

Dorothy Hosein - appointed the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST)’s boss a year ago - has been on sick leave since the end of September. 

During that month, EEAST was placed in special measures after Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors uncovered bullying and sexual harassment.

Dr Tom Davis, who has been covering Ms Hosein’s duties while she has been off sick, also now has official backup from incoming improvement boss Dr Sreeman Andole, set to temporarily cover medical director responsibilities.

On Monday, Dr Davis fronted the announcement of a new £25million technology project to enhance electronic patient care records as acting CEO. 

During a board meeting last month, he said Ms Hosein is not expected to return until the end of the year at the earliest.

Trust bosses confirmed she remains off sick and added: “As part of the improvement support offered to us by our regulator, Dr Andole is joining us as an improvement director. 

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"He will temporarily take on some aspects of the medical director role while Dr Davis is acting CEO.”

Dr Andole joins a raft of new appointments, including Juliet Beale as director of clinical improvements, Louise Lovegrove as organisation coach and Steve Mason as culture director. 

Meanwhile, as work continues to implement an action plan after September’s inspection report, the trust has been in regular contact with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). 

The organisation sent a letter to EEAST following the review, asking bosses to advise whether an inspection, enforcement or action plan support under a 23 notice (to enter into an agreement not to commit an unlawful act) was necessary.

Inspectors found 13 EEAST staff members had been reported to police for sexual misconduct and predatory behaviour against patients and other employees between March 2019 and April 2020. An EHRC spokesman confirmed it will take “the necessary actions to ensure everyone can realise their right to a working environment that allows them to achieve their full potential”.

Trust bosses added that an action plan is currently being agreed between the two organisations.