Chairman retires after eight-years service

Tony calls it a day after successful spell in North East

The man who has been the figurehead of one of the most dramatic decades of change for the North East Ambulance Service is standing down after eight-years' service.

Tony Dell, who has been NEAS Chairman since 2004, has overseen a significant number of developments within the organisation - most recently, the achievement of Foundation Trust status in 2011

NHS Foundation Trusts give local people a greater say on how their local services are run, while remaining under the National Health Service umbrella.

Tony, who's originally from Sussex, arrived in the North East in 1991 when he was appointed as a Director of the DTI Regional Office. This later became part of the Government Office for the North East.

Tony was the lead Director for Trade and Industry, specialising in Inward Investment opportunities, and responsible for providing financial grants to companies looking to expand their businesses. He was also the lead Director for European Funds.

The North East was a major beneficiary of these funds which amounted to hundreds of millions of pounds. Projects which received funding included the Centre for Life, The Millennium Bridge, Gateshead Angel, and the development of Newburn Riverside.

After two-years of early retirement, Tony applied for, and was successful in becoming, Chairman of North East Ambulance Service.

Tony was reappointed as Chairman of the "new" NEAS after the radical restructuring of ambulance services in England which saw 31 Trusts reduced to 11.

The new area includes Teesside which previously came under the jurisdiction of TENYAS (Tees East and North Yorkshire).

Tony is very committed to Equality and Diversity, and has been the Trust Champion since his initial appointment. He was appointed as the first National Chairman of the Ambulance Service Network Diversity Forum in April 2007. 

A board member of the Ambulance Service Network (a national body representing all English ambulance services) and a former director of the predecessor body the Ambulance Services Association, Tony was Chair of the NHS Confederation Ambulance Forum in July 2006. He was also a member of the NHS Confederation's Council and a Trustee of that organisation for three years (2007-2010).

Tony said: "It has been a privilege to be the Chair of NEAS and I have greatly enjoyed being at the head of such a caring organisation.

"We have been innovative and pioneering in a number of different areas, including the development of a new clinically-based triage system called Pathways. We have also helped create an alternative to the 999 A & E service, called 111, which helps people suffering from injuries or illnesses which aren't quite an emergency.

"After being pioneered in the North East by NEAS, 111 is now being rolled out nationally.

"We have always insisted that patients are our top priority. Throughout the Trust - from Board members to frontline crews, from call operators to fleet mechanics - the focus is on providing the best possible service to the people of the North East."

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