Published: 11/4/2002, Volume II2, No. 5800 Page 26

There I was, about to put fingers to keyboard to write a few observations on the article by Ray Shannon illustrating the significant cultural changes taking place at South Yorkshire Ambulance Service ('Get your kit off ', 28 February), when I pick up HSJ and read about the 'probe' taking place in East Midlands Ambulance Service trust.

Ironically, I had just returned from leading a three-day workshop for EMAS, working with senior managers and trade union reps. The workshop was taking forward the innovative partnership project which recently attracted a Department of Trade and Industry partnership at work award.

Chief executive Adrian Chubb showed his support for building a new partnership culture in the trust by joining the workshop participants during the three days.

Like the ambulance trust in South Yorkshire, EMAS is keen to develop a new and radical 'partnership culture' with staff, and as an independent facilitator and consultant I can testify to the enthusiasm from managers and key union reps. I am working with other ambulance trusts (including South Yorkshire) to assist in developing social partnership initiatives, and feel qualified to comment on the events unfolding in EMAS.

I noted the anonymous 'member of staff ' quoted in the news item, but as a former senior health union officer, managers and journalists will know that I was never afraid to put my name to public criticisms if I thought they were merited. Whatever the outcome of this enquiry, it is clear to me that the trusts' leadership is committed to forging a more open and inclusive relationship with staff.

Bob Quick Head of centre for employment relations and partnerships Derby College