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Interim CEO drafted in to calm trust’s leadership woes

Published on: 14 Jun 2022

An ambulance trust which is expected to be heavily criticised in an imminent Care Quality Commission report has appointed a new interim chief executive.

Siobhan Melia, Sussex Community Foundation Trust chief executive, will take over at South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust until next April.

The CQC is expected to criticise SECAmb’s leadership in a report which is due out later this week or early next week. Its chief executive, Philip Astle, stepped down last month after a period of sickness and the trust has been run by medical director Fionna Moore since then.

The trust has had an unsettled time over the last few years, Chief executive Paul Sutton left in 2016 after a scandal involving retriaging delaying some ambulance despatches. His replacement, Daren Mochrie, left after two years to run North West Ambulance Service Trust. Mr Astle, the former South Central Ambulance Service Foundation Trust chief operating officer, was appointed in 2019.

SECAmb chair David Astley, said: “Siobhan has a strong clinical background and is an experienced chief executive, with good knowledge of our region and our partners. I’m very pleased that she is joining us, as we move forward following the pandemic.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr Fionna Moore for stepping in following the resignation of Philip Astle and we look forward to continuing to benefit from her considerable experience once she returns to her role as medical director in July.”

Ms Melia will take up the interim role on secondment on 12 July. Mike Jennings, Sussex Community FT deputy chief executive, is expected to become the trust’s interim chief executive, subject to approval from the council of governors.

Peter Horn, Sussex Community Foundation Trust chair, commented: “On behalf of the board and the wider trust I would like to wish Siobhan well in her new role as interim chief executive at SECAmb. Siobhan’s experience and leadership skills are of tremendous value to any organisation and I look forward to welcoming her back to SCFT in April 2023.”