Ambulance service chair moving on
PUBLISHED: 15:03 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:49 10 June 2019
Sarah Boulton, the chair of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, has announced she is to stand down.
Ms Boulton will leave the role after five years at the helm of the Trust, which is awaiting what is expected to be a critical report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The Trust was told by the CQC following its last inspection in March 2018 that it required improvement, although it was rated 'outstanding' for caring.
In a statement, Mrs Boulton said she was stepping aside to allow the Trust to begin recruiting a new chiefe executive to replace Robert Morton, who resigned in January.
She said: "It has been a real pleasure and privilege to have served as the chair of the Trust.
"I'd like to say a huge thank you to all staff, who do an incredible job every single day, and to our board of directors for all their support over the years.
"It has been a very difficult decision to step aside as we have a really fantastic group of people working at EEAST who are committed to doing their absolute best for our patients.
"However, as the Trust is about to begin the process of recruiting a permanent Chief Executive, I felt it was the right time to hand over to a new Chair so that they can be fully involved in that process."
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Mrs Boulton joined the Trust in March 2014. Since then, she has overseen a great deal of change and a number of improvements at the Trust, including securing additional funding to modernise and transform the estate and invest in extra vehicles and staff.
Mrs Boulton also oversaw the launch of the Trust's clinical hub, known as the ECAT, which is regularly ranked as one of the country's top performing hear and treat services, and has worked closely with health and social care colleagues to better integrate the Trust with the wider NHS for the benefit of patients.
She said: "We have made some really positive changes to the service over the past few years, and I'm confident that I am leaving EEAST in a strong position.
"I wish everyone at the Trust every success for the future."
Dorothy Hosein, Interim CEO of EEAST, paid tribute to Mrs Boulton, saying: "Our staff and volunteers have really appreciated Sarah's commitment and hard work over the last five years.
"On behalf of everyone at the Trust, I would like to thank her for her dedication and the stability she brought to EEAST during her time in office."
An interim chair of EEAST will be appointed while recruitment takes place for a permanent chair.
Mrs Boulton has worked at NHS board level for many years, chairing a number of NHS organisations.
Before taking up her role as Chair of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, she was chair of NHS Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority.
Her background is in business and finance, having worked as a business and management lecturer and a management consultant advising on strategy, change and board development.