East of England Ambulance Service withdraws foundation trust bid

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The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) has abandoned its application to become an NHS Foundation Trust.

Last year, EEAS' application was put on hold by health watchdog Monitor because of its failure to meet response time targets.

Interim trust chairman Dr Geoffrey Harris says EEAS has now decided to focus on improving services.

Foundation trust status would have allowed the ambulance service to step away from government control.

'Transforming services'

It would also have been able to control its own budget and would be more accountable to local communities.

Dr Harris said: "I am focussed on patients and improving our service to them.

"Transforming our services and becoming a high-performing organisation will take time, but it is the most important challenge to address."

At the trust's public board meeting, it was announced that the foundation trust application would be revisited once the trust was providing "sustainable high quality services, operating efficiently and effectively... and fit for purpose".

Five non-executive directors resigned in June over a damaging report about the trust's performance.

The ambulance service covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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