In January, Ashley Winter made the difficult decision to step down as chairman due to ill health.
Ash joined North East Ambulance Service in January 2013 at a point where the organisation had just won the bid to deliver the region’s NHS111 service and had a renewed focus on staff recognition with the recently launched staff awards programme, where he was able to hand out five prestigious Chairman’s awards.
He also oversaw the appointment of chief executive Yvonne Ormston.
During his time at the helm of NEAS, Ash made a point of meeting as many staff as possible – whether that be through observations, visiting our local hospitals to speak to crews, or through events such as staff awards or Pride events.
The last five years has brought significant changes and challenges within the NHS and ambulance sector, including a paramedic shortage, unprecedented surges in demand and changes to configuration across the wider NHS. Ash leaves a very different organisation to the one he joined, reflected by a good CQC report in 2016 after a critical report in 2014.
Chief executive Yvonne Ormston said: "Ash has been a great support to our service over the last five years and, on behalf of us all, a huge thank you Ash."