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EHRC concludes legal agreement with EEAST

Date: 16 December 2022

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The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) NHS Trust has made significant progress in tackling sexual harassment and is no longer under the legally enforceable action plan which was agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in April 2021.

The EHRC acknowledged the progress made and noted the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) inspection report of 13 July 2022, which recognised the improved responsiveness of the Trust to incidents of alleged bullying, harassment, and discrimination. The EHRC was also encouraged by the Trust’s commitment to continuous improvement and the ongoing actions it plans to take.  

The action plan – including formal monitoring – had been agreed with the EHRC on 26th April 2021 after a referral from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following the inspection in August 2020. That report found that the Trust had not done enough to address serious incidents of sexual abuse against both patients and staff.

Since then, the Trust has delivered an action plan to address the concerns identified which has included enhanced training in appropriate behaviours, strengthening of the policies for handling cases of harassment and abuse, and training for managers which has led to stronger action when cases occur.

While formal monitoring ended at the conclusion of the agreement at the end of October, EEAST has committed to making continuous improvements to protect its workforce and ensure a safe and supportive workplace.

Tom Abell, Chief Executive of EEAST, said:

“The conclusion of this agreement with the EHRC shows the progress that we have made in tackling long-standing cultural issues at the Trust.   

“I would like to thank all our people for their hard work during a time when our service has been under severe pressure.

“We still have a long way to go, and we are committed to continuing this improvement and building a culture which is a great place to work for everyone.”

  • Summary:

    The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) has made significant progress in tackling sexual harassment and is no longer under the legally enforceable action plan which was agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in April 2021.