Ambulance staff defend CE Robert Morton over comments by East of England Labour MEP

Date Published : September 4th, 2018    Published By : admin

East of England Ambulance staff have backed their outgoing Chief Executive, amid criticism by a Labour MEP.

Robert Morton announced his resignation last Friday and MEP Alex Mayer took to Twitter to slate the CE for ‘three chaotic years’ at the helm of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST).

Ambulance staff have rallied to the defence of their outgoing chief executive after his tenure was criticised by an East of England Labour MEP. Alex Mayer wrote that Robert Morton had overseen “three chaotic years” at the helm of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST). Ms Mayer tweeted: “I welcome the resignation and hope that a new chief executive can be found swiftly who will put the concerns of staff and patients at the heart of every decision. Our ambulance service can and must do better. Patients deserve it and so do our hardworking paramedics.”

Ahead of a response by Mr. Morton, ambulance staff were quick to support and defend the Chief Executive. One ambulance staff member, Diane Dingley, tweeted “Another groundless and uneducated comment from the uninterested……. get your facts straight before you make statements in future. @EEASTCEO will be sorely missed by the staff and will be a hard act to follow!”

Also responding to the East of England MEP, Ambulance Service Emergency Operations Manager Andrew Beardlsey tweeted “I’d welcome your resignation. Please check, check & check again your facts before you pass incorrect & inaccurate information out to the public. Please do get in touch with one of my many colleagues who have commented and we will arrange for you to come and spend that day with us.”

Robert Morton also responded to Labour MEP Alex Mayer’s tweet and said “@EastEnglandAmb not contacted by @alexlmayer since becoming an MEP. 4500 staff & 2000 volunteers helped 1.6m patients last year. If she has concerns, she hasn’t told us directly or through union partners. Will write to Alex to ask what her concerns are @GMB_union @UnisonEeas.”

640_EEAS_Rober Morton
Outgoing EEAST Chief Executive Robert Morton

The official Twitter feed for the ambulance service’s Emergency Operations Centres said: “The CEO of over 4500 staff, countless volunteers, 6 counties… @EEASTCEO will walk away with head held high, he will be sadly missed and hard to replace, but then we’re just “call takers” and “ambulance drivers” in the eyes of the uninitiated…” East of England Ambulance Service has undergone many changes and restructures over the past number of years and Robert Morton has been behind many of those changes in thre past three years.

In a statement, Chair of the EEAST Sarah Boulton said “For three years Robert has successfully secured long-lasting changes on behalf of patients and staff. Together, we have found a talented and steadfast board to lead a wider team to deliver those improvements. The biggest achievement of the board he built was to secure a six-year contract with our commissioners. This means we can recruit more staff over the next three years and increase the numbers of ambulances we have on the roads”.

The statement continued that the EEAST can expect to see improvements in performance, particularly in the least densely populated areas of east of England such as Norfolk and Suffolk. “Robert’s legacy is a great one. He has had the vision and compassion to get us into a great place and our highly skilled board members will continue on their course to leading EEAST to becoming a high-performing trust.”

In his resignation, CE Robert Motron “While I feel privileged to be the chief executive of EEAST my future plans mean I cannot commit to a further three years. I feel this is the right time to hand over to someone else. I wish to record my thanks to our trust chair, Sarah Boulton, and my board and executive colleagues for their unwavering support and commitment over the last three years. I also want to thank staff for their care, compassion and commitment to our patients and to supporting each other.”

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust became financially balanced during his tenure and according to the EEAST, there was a reduced variation in the quality of care for patients.

Ireland and Australian Posts
Formerly a Director of the National Ambulance Service in Ireland and Chief Executive of the South Australian Ambulance Service, Robert Morton was officially appointed as the new Chief Executive of the East England Ambulance Service in August 2015, taking up his position on August 24th.

Mr. Morton has worked in the ambulance service at various levels for almost thirty-years. Starting off as a paramedic and a first responder with the National Ambulance Service, Robert became Director in Ireland for three years before taking up the position of Chief Executive in South Australia.

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