Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee chairman calls for new EMAS boss to ‘listen to the people of Lincolnshire’

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The chairman of Lincolnshire’s Health Scrutiny Committee has said she hopes East Midlands Ambulance Service’s new chief executive will ‘listen to the concerns of Lincolnshire people’ over its performance in the county and Being the Best proposals.

Coun Christine Talbot has spoken out in the wake of the news that emerged on Friday that the chief executive of EMAS, Phil Milligan, would be stepping down.

Mr Milligan oversaw the controversial ‘Being the Best’ revamp programme for the service, which was voted through earlier this year and included a number of station closures in favour of a more mobile approach.

The Being the Best changes were designed to address the response times which left EMAS as the worst performing ambulance service in the country in 2012, and saw it fined for a third year in a row earlier this year.

Director of finance and performance, Jon Sargeant, will take his place in the interim until a successor is appointed.

Coun Talbot said: “Although Phil Milligan’s departure raises some questions, we need to focus on the future and will welcome a new EMAS chief executive.

“The committee will want to build a good working relationship with whoever that is and hope they will listen to the concerns of Lincolnshire people about their performance in the county and their ‘Being the Best proposals’. “We are still awaiting the outcome of the IRP report into our referral on these plans, and the subsequent decision by the Secretary of State.

“Whatever the result is, we expect EMAS to look for the best solution to improve their performance and response times in our county.”

The outgoing chief executive said he left EMAS ‘in a much stronger position’.

Mr Milligan said: “I joined EMAS to make a difference. With the plans in place and progress made I am proud to leave EMAS in a much stronger position.

“I am looking forwards to spending more time with my family; the role of chief executive has been very demanding and has required very long hours to make the progress necessary.

“It is time for me to take a back seat for a while and to leave the driving to someone else.

“Clinical care and overall response times are the best they have been for some time thanks to the ‘Being the Best’ programme.”