MBE for Chief Executive

Yvonne Ormston recognised for services to the NHS

One of the North East’s leading figures in the NHS has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Yvonne Ormston, Chief Executive of the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, has been recognised for her services to the NHS in a career spanning 33 years.

Yvonne said: “I am honoured to have received this award and have loved working throughout my career in the NHS to develop and support patient care. This award is as much a recognition for those who have helped and supported me throughout the years.

“It is a real privilege to work alongside such dedicated people in the health service and no more so than in the ambulance service today. The dedication and commitment of the staff at NEAS is a testament to the fantastic service we have in our region.

"I am extremely lucky to have had endless support and encouragement from my husband Colin and sons, Scott and Adam, without which I could not have dedicated the time and attention needed to support NHS staff and patients.

Yvonne joined the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) in October 2014. Under her leadership, tangible results include securing NEAS as one of only three ambulance trusts to be rated “Good” by the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission; to be the highest ranked health and social care provider in the Stonewall Top 100 employers; to have successfully implemented the new ambulance response standards and be the only ambulance trust to continuously achieve Category 1 performance; and to be the highest rated ambulance service for staff engagement in the 2017 NHS Staff Survey.

In 2018, Yvonne was listed in the Top 50 chief executives in the Health Service Journal (HSJ), a trade journal of the NHS, and was runner-up in the HSJ provider CEO of the Year award in November.

Chairman Peter Strachan said: “Yvonne is a tremendous asset to the NHS and, in particular, the ambulance sector. She has assured a focus on providing high quality, compassionate care to our patients.

“She has achieved this by working tirelessly for the benefits of the service and patients, forming new strategic partnerships and embedding values of compassion and care across the organisation.”

Yvonne joined the NHS in 1985, working within a community unit in Newcastle to provide residential care for people with learning disabilities. She then worked during the 1990s at Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority, eventually holding the post of Assistant Director of Commissioning and Performance Management.

She moved to Ayrshire and Arran Health Board in 1998 as Executive Director of Primary Care, which she held for a year before moving back to the North East as Chief Executive of Gateshead Primary Care Group. In 2002, she became locality director of Northumberland Care Trust, responsible for the strategic development and operational management of all primary, community and social care services in Blyth Valley.

Yvonne became Deputy Chief Executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, when she moved there in 2005 until leaving to lead NEAS in October 2014.

Yvonne now leads on a number of regional and national groups. She is a member of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and leads on Workforce Race Equality Standards for the NHS ambulance sector across the UK and for the North East NHS.

Her profile in the region and leadership drive has been key to the formation of an NHS alliance among providers and commissioners to drive development of the North East clinical assessment service – the contract which was won in a competitive tender in April 2018. The alliance brings together clinical support and leadership to direct urgent and emergency care patients to the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

Yvonne has also overseen the integration of emergency care and patient transport within NEAS, ensuring that NEAS is placed at the heart of urgent and emergency care in the North East alongside NHS111 and the clinical assessment service.

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