Monday, 23 May 2011
London Ambulance Service Trust Board meeting tomorrow
220 Waterloo Road
17 May 2011
I write in response to your email of 13 May regarding the event for prospective foundation trust governors last week.
As you will be aware, the meeting was open to all members who had indicated an interest in standing as a governor.
I made reference to a number of those who were attending – including ex-members of staff and Patients Forum members – and did so to Mr Barnbrook in his role as an elected member of the London Assembly and member of their Health and Social Services Committee, which is currently carrying out a review of the Service. Indeed, it was clear from correspondence with him before the event that he was attending in this capacity. Furthermore, I was unaware he was a member of the LAS until that evening. We have around 5,000 public members as you know, and I am not aware of each individual member’s details.
Given the circumstances and public nature of the meeting, it was clearly not going to be possible to resolve your concerns at the time, and it was in this context that I and a number of other senior managers listened to and acknowledged the points you made.
However, it is regrettable that you should have felt the need to suggest going to the media before giving us an opportunity to address the issues and correct factual inaccuracies, as this is not at all helpful to our relationship with the Forum.
The process for electing members to the council of governors will be fully in line with the terms set out by Monitor. Anyone who stands for election will have to state whether they are a member of a political party in their nomination paper, and it will then be for the members of the constituency group that he or she is standing for to decide whether they wish to vote for them.
While acknowledging and agreeing with your point that there needs to be equal opportunities around this process, it should be recognised that this in itself will enable anyone to put themselves forward for election, regardless of their political beliefs or affiliations.
Peter Bradley CBE
Chief Executive Officer