Maintaining the nationally interoperable capabilities to remain safe and operationally effective

Our Strategic Objective:

Maintain the nationally interoperable capabilities, ensuring that they remain safe and operationally effective.”

Key Deliverables:

  • Maintain national standards and consistency across the interoperable capabilities
  • Maintain operational effectiveness for NARU and the interoperable capabilities
  • Ensure robust emergency preparedness through national planning and business continuity
  • Continually review and improve the interoperable capabilities

The principal focus of the Operations Department is to develop and maintain the standards needed to effectively operate the interoperable capabilities. The department includes some of the country’s leading subject matter experts.

In addition to working very closely with operational leads in each ambulance service and our multiagency partners, the department also supports regulators, commissioners, and legal inquiries with matters of governance and performance management.

The department is led by the National Head of Operations and its main office is collocated with the College of Policing at Ryton in Coventry. It has an extensive national remit centred around the following four portfolios:


  • Contract Standards & Service Specifications
  • Safe System of Work Provisions
  • Risk Management
  • Guidance & Publications
  • Performance Monitoring & Reporting
  • Audit, Inspections & Reviews
  • Support to Regulators & Commissioners


  • Operational State of Readiness (Interoperable Capabilities)
  • National Ambulance Coordination Centre
  • National On-Call Provision
  • Mutual Aid
  • Multi-Agency Engagement
  • Interfaces with the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP)
  • Interfaces with the National Interagency Liaison Officer (NILO) networks
  • National Logistics Coordination


  • COVID-19 Recovery Coordination
  • National Operations Planning
  • Analytics & Forecasting
  • Business Continuity
  • Education and Clinical Interfaces
  • National Funding Provisions
  • Internal department planning


  • Quality Assurance
  • Change Management
  • Safety Alerts
  • Legal Compliance
  • Coordination of Lessons
  • Research
  • Business Cases & Policy Development
  • Service Improvement Projects

It is an honour and a privilege to lead the NARU Operations Department. My team comprises the country’s leading subject matter experts who are dedicated to maintaining safe and effective capabilities across England.  These capabilities are high-risk, so we work extremely hard to maintain a nationally consistent safe system of work whilst also putting provisions in place to allow skilled NHS clinicians to access patients in high-risk areas as quickly as possible. 

A key aspect of my department’s role is national assurance.  We work closely with NHS England, NHS Commissioners and Regulators to ensure appropriate standards and specialist NHS services are being effectively maintained.  Members of my team also provide expert advice to public inquiries, inquests and legal proceedings. 

It is a broad and diverse portfolio which allows us to interact daily with the dedicated staff and managers who deliver these capabilities on the ground every day.  My department and I are immensely proud of the frontline clinicians delivering the interoperable capabilities and providing life saving care in the most challenging of environments. 

Christian Cooper JP MSc PGDipLaw SIRM
Head of Operations

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