The chief executive of an ambulance trust has resigned after a period of sick leave.
Philip Astle’s resignation from South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust has coincided with the deputy chief executive – David Hammond – being on sick leave, so medical director Fionna Moore will take over as interim chief executive.
Dr Moore, an accident and emergency consultant by background, held the interim chief role at the trust immediately before Mr Astle’s appointment and has also been chief executive at London Ambulance Service Trust.
In a short statement, trust chair David Astley said: “Following a period of sickness, Philip Astle has decided to resign from his role as chief executive of SECAmb, with effect from 17 May 2022.
“Dr Fionna Moore will take on the role of interim chief executive for the next few weeks until further arrangements are made.
“I’d like to thank Fionna for stepping in to lead the organisation in light of this news, to help us during these busy times.”
Staff were told of the resignation this morning.
Mr Astle joined the trust in 2019 from South Central Ambulance Service FT, where he was chief operating officer. He had spent much of his career prior to this in the army, including as a strategist and planner for operations in Afghanistan.
He replaced Daren Mochrie, now chief executive of the North West Ambulance Service Trust, who was with SECAmb for two years.
SECAmb has been through a challenging time with the pandemic but is currently performing better than most other ambulance services on response times. However, it is awaiting the outcome of a recent Care Quality Commission inspection.