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New North West ambulance chief named
1:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
A FORMER navy officer and paramedic has been appointed as the permanent chief executive of Lancashire’s ambulance service.
Bob Williams has been doing the job on a temporary basis for the last year, after previous boss Darren Hurrell left without any public explanation.
Mr Williams will face several difficulties in the next year, including the need to find efficiency savings of £10 million, and coping with a shortage of trained paramedics.
He is also facing claims from the GMB union that the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is at ‘breaking point’, with ambulance crews said to be too busy to carry out basic checks on their vehicles before starting their shifts.
This follows an incident in Bolton last month, where a wheel came off an ambulance while it was taking a male pensioner to A&E.
The vehicle tilted and swerved and the patient’s wife, who was also travelling in the back of the ambulance, suffered bruising to her chest and ended up in A&E as well.
NWAS said Mr Williams’s appointment followed a ‘rigorous’ recruitment process.
Trust chairman Mary Whyham said: “Bob is a very highly respected member of the NWAS team and I have no doubt that with his passion and drive for the NHS, our staff and our patients will all benefit from his leadership.
“With this appointment, we are now in a position to move forward and look to the future.”
Mr Williams left the Royal Navy in 1984, before working as a paramedic, training officer, senior manager and executive director with various trusts. He was appointed deputy chief executive at NWAS in 2006.
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