Former ambulance chief executive Hayden Newton still being paid by trust

Former ambulance chief executive Hayden Newton.

Former ambulance chief executive Hayden Newton. - Credit: Archant

The region's ambulance service came under fresh criticism last night after it emerged that its former chief executive was still being paid - three months after his departure.

Hayden Newton announced that he was taking early retirement in October after five years at the helm at the East of England Ambulance Service.

However, the trust came under further criticism after it was discovered that the former chief executive was still an NHS employee.

Agenda minutes from a February meeting of the ambulance service say that Mr Newton 'stepped down' from his directorship with effect from December 16 and would retire from the NHS on March 31 after some 30 years with the service.

Mr Newton, who was on a salary of £140,000, announced his retirement amid concerns from MPs and patients over slow ambulance response times.

Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP, said she was 'shocked' to discover that the ex-chief executive was still an NHS employee.

'It is extraordinary and I want to know what he has been doing. I have some follow-up questions. Did he retire or did he resign? Has he been paid off and was this a way to avoid a big pay off?' she said.

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Tony Hughes, GMB union organiser for staff at the East of England Ambulance service, added: 'As always the people at the top of the tree are treated better than those at the bottom of the tree.'

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance trust confirmed that Mr Newton's contractual notice will expire on March 31. However, the trust's interim chief executive Andrew Morgan had been seconded to the organisation from NHS Norfolk and Waveney at no cost to the ambulance service. The ambulance trust will begin paying Mr Morgan from April 1,' the spokesman added.

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