Yorkshire Ambulance Chair steps down after six successful years

Della Cannings QPM
Della Cannings QPM

Ms Della Cannings QPM announces she will step down from her role as Chairman of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) on 9 May 2016 after six years at the helm.

This will allow for the NHS Trust Development Authority to start a recruitment process for a new Chairman.

Sir Peter Carr CBE, Chair of the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:

“The Trust has made substantial progress in the face of difficult challenges and Della’s strong leadership of the Board has helped direct these changes for the benefit of patients.

The NHS is indebted to her for the significant personal contribution she has made and giving her time and expertise to Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the wider ambulance community

The ambulance service and the community it serves owe a debt of gratitude to her for her dedicated work.”

The Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Rod Barnes, said:

“Della has been an inspirational and tirelessly hard-working Chairman who leaves behind a legacy of considerable success and achievement.

She has changed the culture of the organisation for the better and redefined our relationship with our local, regional and national partners in the NHS, other emergency services and, most crucially, with patients and local communities.

On behalf of the rest of the Board and the wider organisation, I would like to thank Della for the major contribution she has made to Yorkshire Ambulance Service over the past six years and wish her well for the future.”

Under her leadership, the past six years have seen major advances at Yorkshire Ambulance Service. The performance of the Trust has improved considerably across a broad range of quality indicators, and has achieved and sustained financial stability.

Measured against a range of key indicators, including emergency response times, the Trust is amongst those in the top performing quartile of ambulance services across the country. She has led the modernisation and diversification of services, including the expansion of services such as NHS 111 and West Yorkshire Urgent Care, updating of estate, fleet and increased use of technology and greater integration with the wider health economy and with other emergency services.

The expansion of involvement with volunteer Community First Responders, a marked increase in the provision of community Public Access Defibrillators, the creation of the YAS Forum to ensure closer working with the 5000+ membership of the Trust and the delivery of Restart a Heart to 30,000+ school-age children are just a few of the initiatives under her leadership.

Della has also been a Board member and the Chairman of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) Council.

The AACE Chairman, Dr Anthony Marsh, said:

“Della has done an outstanding job and has made a huge contribution to the ambulance sector in our country for which she should feel rightly proud.”

Della Cannings QPM said:

“Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is a vital portal for the public to access and receive health services and the most important thing is that our communities receive high quality services.  It is our frontline and support employees who ensure these are delivered – I thank all the staff for the excellent care they provide, often in challenging circumstances with ever increasing demands.

I have been privileged to be alongside such caring staff exhibiting high quality clinical skills that are supported by such a variety of experienced staff.

I am proud to have been part of the organisational transformation of YAS and positioning it to undertake the next stage of change with regards to increasing integration of services across health and social care and with other agencies, taking forward a challenging estates modernisation programme and increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.”


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