East of England Ambulance Service Trust has launched an ‘independent investigation into the circumstances’ surrounding the death of a staff member, its chief executive told a board meeting today.
Nick Lee, 46, from Ovington in west Norfolk, died on 3 December. The cause of death is yet to be officially established. He was a leading operations manager for west Norfolk, and hospital ambulance liaison officer at Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust and had worked for the ambulance trust for nearly 20 years.
This is not the first time the trust, which has faced significant cultural problems in recent years, has been required to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of members of their workforce.
The trust launched an investigation into the “underlying factors associated with” the sudden deaths of three of its employees in November 2019, HSJ exclusively revealed in January 2020.
A whistleblower alleged in 2019 that staff at the ambulance provider were at risk of suicide because of its “completely toxic culture”. A month after the allegations were reported in October, three young staff members died suddenly in 11 days.
The deaths happened while the trust was transitioning to a new staff welfare provider. The staff who died were ambulance dispatcher Luke Wright, aged 24, and paramedics Christopher Gill, from Welwyn Garden City, and Richard Grimes, from Luton.
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Source: HSJ, 13 January 2022