Cambridgeshire Live 25 NOV 2019 By Alan Selby & Richard Brown
Three men who died suddenly while working for the East of England Ambulance Trust have been named – as the service was branded ‘toxic’.
The trio, who all died within the space of 11 days, have been named as ambulance dispatcher Luke Wright, 24, and paramedics Christopher Gill and Richard Grimes.
Shortly before their deaths, which occurred between November 11 and November 21, a whistleblower wrote to the NHS Trust’s boss complaining about psychological abuse, Mirror Online reports.
Former health minister and Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, who represented North Norfolk, is calling for an independent investigation into the deaths.
He said: “For three people working on the front line to lose their lives within such a short space of time is deeply shocking.
“It does raise a question as to whether there needs to be a thorough internal investigation.
“I am conscious that people have complained about a toxic culture in this trust. I’ve been appalled by some of the behaviours that I’ve seen in the organisation.”
Dad-of-one Luke was in Norwich while Chris was from Welwyn Garden City, Herts, and Richard in Luton, Beds.
Luke’s brother Daniel, who also works for the service, said: “We need to highlight that it is OK not to be OK. People need to talk to get help.”
The whistleblower’s letter, uncovered by the Ambulance News Desk site, claimed that bullying behaviour was undermining staff confidence.
It said: “If this situation continues the risk of suicide and increase risk to patients will result in reputational damage to the NHS and potential loss of life.”
Dr Tom Davis, medical director of the service, said: “We will not be commenting on the unfortunate and tragic loss of our colleagues recently as we need to be sympathetic.
“But we encourage staff to seek support when they need it and to speak up if they are suffering with mental health.”