Hospital turnaround chief tipped for ambulance job

PUBLISHED: 18:33 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 06:59 24 October 2018

Dorothy Hosein. Picture: Ian Burt

Dorothy Hosein. Picture: Ian Burt

The woman tipped to temporarily take the reins at the region’s ambulance trust when the service’s chief executive steps down has a history of turning around a failing hospital.

The ambulance control room in Hellesdon.
Chief Executive Robert Morton.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The ambulance control room in Hellesdon. Chief Executive Robert Morton. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Robert Morton, East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) boss, announced he was stepping down in September.

He had come under much criticism in recent months from unions and MPs as the trust struggled to cope with last year’s winter pressures and found itself in the middle of a whistleblowing scandal.

The Health Service Journal reported on Tuesday that Dorothy Hosein would take over from him on an interim basis.

An EEAST spokesman said they would not confirm who would be taking over until staff had been told, and could also not confirm when Mr Morton was leaving. And it is believed regulator NHS Improvement still needs to sign off the appointment.

But staff could be reassured by Mrs Hosein’s record, as she was hailed with the improvement of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in King’s Lynn, when it was lifted out of special measures in 2015.

It has since been branded inadequate again but in a presentation on how she turned the QEH around Mrs Hosein had said it was about strengthening leadership.

Leadership at EEAST has come under fire from staff and MPs.

Mrs Hosein said the QEH previously had a “delusional organisational culture” and a “blaming of ‘others’”.

But her vision was “a true meritocracy (not clubs) with a hospital filled with excited people with good values, high integrity, and the ability to use data for improvements to patient care”.

However, Mrs Hosein, who most recently was managing director at Mid Essex Hospital Trust, does not have experience working in the ambulance sector.

One source told the HSJ this showed the shortage of ambulance leaders.

When Mr Morton announced his resignation, reaction was polarised and ranged from branding Mr Morton as the best chief executive the trust had ever had to the worst.

He has been at the trust for three years and faced criticism over winter after a whistleblower released a dossier of apparent patient harm caused by delays. But he has also been praised for securing a new contract with commissioners, which will see investment into the service.

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