Paramedics have launched an unprecedented public campaign to have their “loved” medical director given the top job at the London Ambulance Service.
More than 450 have signed an online petition calling on bosses to appoint Dr Fionna Moore as chief executive of the world’s largest emergency service.
It comes as the NHS watchdog prepares to carry out a major inspection of the London Ambulance Service – and has urged Londoners to share their views of its performance.
Dr Moore has been interim LAS chief executive since Ann Radmore quit in January amid concerns at an exodus of staff and as the Prime Minister was forced to defend 999 response times that fell to the slowest in the country.
Latest figures show it reached 64.8 per cent of the most serious 999 calls within eight minutes last month – below the NHS target of 75 per cent.
Applications closed on Monday for the chief executive’s job, with “UK or international” candidates sought.
Tom Lynch, who founded the LAS cycle response team, called for Dr Moore to be given the job permanently, saying she had a “truly magnificent” level of support from staff.
He said: “The public show of support from our staff on recent gatherings has been very real and emotional, the staff love her, we just wish you could package that up and show the recruitment team.
“This sort of support and belief in her would never come across in any recruitment process. Fionna as our medical director for over 15 years has always led from the front and still does as our interim CEO.”
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission want Londoners to help them target their inspection of the service, which will begin at the start of June.
CQC chief inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “We need to make sure that ambulance services are safe, caring, responsive, effective and well led.
“This inspection will provide people with a clear picture of the quality of their local ambulance service, exposing poor or mediocre service if its exists as well as highlighting where the trust provides good and excellent services.
“If you have recently needed to call out an ambulance in emergency, or have experience of using the service – we would like to hear from you.”
LAS director of nursing and quality, Zoe Packman, said: “We hope our patients will come forward to share their experiences with the CQC team. We welcome feedback and look forward to using their findings to further improve our service to Londoners.”