Today, NHS England recognised the significant improvements that East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) has made. The trust has been removed from the National Recovery Support Programme for challenged providers and systems. The programme was formerly known as Special Measures.
In 2020, the trust was placed into Special Measures. This happened following concerns about culture, leadership, and governance.
The latest CQC report, published in July 2022, showed significant improvements on long-standing cultural issues. The report recognised the trust’s efforts to improve leadership, culture, and safety for staff.
Since February 2023, the CQC has also lifted four conditions on EEAST’s license. There are three remaining which it is hoped will be lifted soon.
The CQC recognised that the Trust has expanded its safeguarding team. It also strengthened its safeguarding policies and HR processes.
An improvement in the way allegations are handled was also recognised. This happened after processes were strengthened and standardised.
Training has also been provided for managers investigating allegations. This improves the quality of decision making and 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.
NHS England has now confirmed EEAST will leave the Recovery Support Programme with immediate effect.
“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 the Trust over two years ago. When I joined, I made clear it would take time to tackle longstanding cultural and organisational issues.
“Although we have made good progress, we know there is still work to do to provide consistently excellent service to our communities.”Tom Abell, Chief Executive EEAST