East of England Ambulance Service: Second board resignation

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A second non-executive board member of an under-fire ambulance trust has resigned from her post.

Margaret Stockham said the East of England Ambulance Service was "starting to turn around", but the focus was "unrelenting on us as individuals".

A number of MPs have criticised the service's management following a damaging report about its performance.

The former NHS Bedfordshire chief said her remaining four colleagues would have to "do what they need to do".

Ms Stockham said they would be engaged in "just as much deep thinking and worrying about this as I have done over the past two or three weeks".

Caroline Bailes was the first to step down from her non-executive director post on Wednesday.

The service, which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, was criticised for almost two years before the governance review over its poor response times, particularly in rural areas.

'Performance was improving'

It also came in for scathing criticism in a recent parliamentary debate, with Priti Patel, Conservative MP for Witham, stating: "Scandal and incompetence has put lives at risk."

Ms Stockham, who began working on the trust's board last September, said: "I stepped down with a very heavy heart after careful consideration because I had genuinely believed up until the last couple of days that I could be part of the solution.

"Things were starting to turn around and the performance was improving, but the focus has become unrelentingly on us as individuals.

"I've stepped down in order that there can be a reconstitution of the board.

"Perhaps with a bit of space created, now at least two of us are not the issue, the trust can get on with the business of really turning things about."

The NHS trust board is made up of 11 voting members - six non-executive directors, including the chair and five executive directors.

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