Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is the NHS ambulance service covering most of Yorkshire in England. It was formed on 1 July 2006 following the mergers of the former West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service (WYMAS), South Yorkshire Ambulance Service (SYAS) and Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service (TENYAS). It is one of ten NHS Ambulance Trusts providing England with emergency medical services, free at the point of care and as part of the National Health Service it receives direct government funding for its role.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service
TypeNHS trust
Established1 July 2006
HeadquartersWakefield, England
Region servedCounties of East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire
NHS regionNHS England
Area size6,000 sq miles
Population5 million
ChairKathryn Lavery
Chief executiveRod Barnes


Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) serves a population of five million people and employs over 4500 staff and supported by over 1000 volunteers. On an average year, YAS will respond to 700,000 emergency calls and conduct one million patient transport journeys.[1]

YAS's main roles are to:

  • receive 999 calls in two Emergency Operations Centres, based in Wakefield and York, and deploy the most appropriate response to meet patients' needs
  • respond to 999 calls by getting medical help to patients who have serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses as quickly as possible
  • take eligible patients to and from their hospital appointments with our non-emergency Patient Transport Service
  • provide the NHS 111 urgent medical help and advice line in Yorkshire and the Humber as well as Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire.


Yorkshire Ambulance Service covers the counties of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, and North Yorkshire (not including the boroughs of Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland or Stockton-on-Tees, which are covered by the North East Ambulance Service).

The headquarters of YAS is located within the Wakefield 41 Business Park to the north of Wakefield city centre and near to junction 41 of the M1 motorway. There are two Administration Centres, one covering the northern area of the Trust, based in Skelton, York and the other covering the southern area of the Trust, based in Moorgate, Rotherham.

Accident and Emergency operations are divided into the following Clinical Business Units (CBUs) almost conterminous with the geographic boundaries:[2]

  • North Yorkshire
  • Hull & East Riding
  • Airedale, Bradford and Leeds (ABL)
  • Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield (CKW)
  • South Yorkshire


The Chief Executive is Rod Barnes who was made substantive in his role in May 2015 and prior to this, was the Interim Chief Executive and Executive Director of Finance and Performance.[3] His background is generally finance-based and he has worked in a number of other NHS provider organisations including Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Great Western Ambulance Service. He began his NHS career at Airedale and Harrogate district hospitals and has held a wide variety of leadership positions.

He replaced David Whiting, who was Chief Executive between February 2011 and November 2014.

Other former Chief Executives were Jayne Barnes OBE (1 July 2006 – 14 January 2008) and Martyn Pritchard (15 January 2008 – June 2010). Barnes emigrated to Australia to take up the post of Assistant Commissioner of Queensland Ambulance Service (South East region) and Pritchard left to take up a role at the Strategic Health Authority.[4]

Previous members of the executive team have left under less than auspicious circumstances. David Forster, the Policy and Strategy Director, resigned his position in 2010 after stating that the NHS employed "too many who are lazy, unproductive, obstinate, militant, aggressive at every turn" he also claimed some employees "couldn't secure a job anywhere outside the bloated public sector where mediocrity is too often shielded by weak and unprincipled HR policies".[5]

On 8 March 2016, the trust announced that the incumbent Chairman, Della Cannings QPM would be standing down from her position after six years with her final date in office being 9 May 2016.[6]


Yorkshire Ambulance Service was formed on 1 July 2006 around the same time as many of the ambulance services in England merged with neighbouring services to become conterminous with the government regions following the 2005 publication of the Taking Healthcare to the Patient: Transforming NHS Ambulance Services report by Peter Bradley CBE.[7] The previous ambulance services are outlined below:

West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service

WYMAS was formed in 1974 covering the then new metropolitan county of West Yorkshire and the Craven district of North Yorkshire. It brought together some of the individual city ambulance services which existed across the area and in 1992, it became an NHS trust, providing 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to more than 2.1 million people across the region. WYMAS had 21 ambulance stations within its operating area.

Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service

TENYAS was formed on 1 April 1999 as a merger of the former Cleveland, Humberside and North Yorkshire ambulance services and served the urban areas of Middlesbrough, York and Hull along with the rural areas of the Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Wolds.

South Yorkshire Ambulance Service

SYAS was formed in 1974 as the South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service covering the then new metropolitan county of South Yorkshire. On 1 April 1992 it became an NHS Trust and served over 1.4 million people in an area of over 600 square miles (1,600 km2).


YAS operates just over 500 emergency vehicles which are a mix of Double Crewed Ambulances (DCAs), crewed by two members of staff (usually a qualified Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) working with an Emergency Care Assistant) and Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) which are crewed by a single paramedic, EMT or Emergency Care Practitioner. The emergency fleet is primarily made up of Mercedes Sprinter ambulances, Fiat ducato DCAs[8] and Skoda Octavia rapid response vehicles.

YAS also has over 450 Patient Transport Service (PTS) vehicles which are operated by around 696 PTS staff.[9]

YAS can deploy rescue helicopters, including two Airbus H145s of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to emergencies and incidents across the service area, however the Air Ambulance Service is a charity and not an integral part of YAS – paramedics are provided by YAS and work on a rota with doctors who are voluntary members of the BASICS (British Association for Immediate Care) to offer additional medical skills.

The Trust entered into a contract with Medical (Europe) Ltd of Malton trading as North of England Ambulance Service by which it could call on up to 13 ambulances, each with two crew members, to cover staff shortages in 2012. This contract was ended in early 2014, however YAS has the ability to call on private companies and St John Ambulance to provide cover in times of extreme need, and a long term contract is held with St John to provide fully crewed ambulances to YAS for emergency and non-emergency work.

Staff roles

YAS employs 4,679 staff, who together with 1,055 volunteers, provide a vital 24-hour emergency and healthcare service. The largest proportion of staff, over 62%, are employed in operational patient-facing roles including Accident and Emergency, Patient Transport Service, NHS 111, Hazardous Area Response Team, Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedics, Emergency Operations Centre, Resilience and Special Services, Private and Events, Resource and Embrace paediatric and neonatal transport service.[9] There are various job roles which enable the service to operate, here are a few that are directly involved in the frontline and the control room of the service:[10]

Emergency Operations Centre

  • Emergency Operations Centre Call Handler
  • Emergency Operations Centre Call Dispatcher
  • Clinical Advisor

Operational A&E Frontline

  • Urgent Care Support Worker (UCSW)
  • Emergency Care Assistant (ECA)
  • Emergency Medical Technician 1 (EMT-1)
  • Emergency Medical Technician 2 (EMT-2)
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (aEMT)
  • Newly Qualified Paramedic (NQP)
  • Paramedic
  • Specialist Paramedic Urgent and Emergency Care
  • Specialist Paramedic HART (Hazardous Area Response Team)
  • Specialist Paramedic HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) Yorkshire Air Ambulance
  • Advanced Paramedics
  • Consultant Paramedics
  • Consultant Doctors (Yorkshire Critical Care Team)

Operational Patient Transport Services Frontline

  • PTS Ambulance Driver (Band 2)
  • PTS Ambulance Care Assistant (Band 3)

Patient Transport Services Communications

  • PTS Scheduler/Controller
  • PTS Call Handler
  • PTS Call Handler Apprentice


  • Community First Responder
  • PTS Car Driver
  • Emergency Doctor BASICS

Accident and Emergency

In 2013–14, YAS staff received 795,750 emergency and urgent calls, an average of over 2,180 calls a day. YAS responded to a total of 708,883 incidents by either a vehicle arriving on scene or by telephone advice. Of these, 267,716 were categorised as immediately life-threatening.

Like other English ambulance trusts, YAS has experienced year-on-year growth in activity since it was established in 2006; overall response activity was up by 2% from 2012–13 to 2013–14.

YAS delivered the national emergency response target (75% of immediately life-threatening calls were reached in eight minutes and 95% of these calls within 19 minutes) for the third consecutive year in 2013–14.[9] This was only achieved by YAS downgrading a large number of calls to a less serious category, they are due to be investigated by the CQC for this.[11]

Patient Transport Service (PTS)

YAS PTS is the largest ambulance provider of non-emergency transport in Yorkshire and the Humber. In 2013–14, YAS PTS undertook 886,312 non-emergency journeys.[9]

Transport is provided for people who are unable to use public or other transport due to their medical condition. This includes those:

  • attending hospital outpatient clinics and community-based care
  • being admitted to or discharged from hospital
  • needing life-saving treatment such as chemotherapy or renal dialysis.

NHS 111

YAS runs the NHS 111 service in Yorkshire and the Humber, Bassetlaw, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The service took its one millionth call in February 2014 and is one of the highest performing NHS 111 services in England. Up to the end of 2013–14, the service responded to 1,100,599 calls, 94.9% of which were answered within 60 seconds (the national target is 95%).[9]

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund

YAS has its own Charitable Fund which receives donations and legacies from grateful patients, members of the public and fundraising initiatives throughout Yorkshire.

The Charitable Fund exists to support the work of the Trust. Key uses of funds include the provision of additional training and equipment for services over and above the level that would normally be delivered as part of core NHS funding.

During 2013–14 and continuing into 2014, the Charitable Fund has been focusing its efforts on raising money for community medical units, which provide on-scene medical treatment for patients with minor injuries and illnesses, and public access defibrillators.[9]

YAS Community and Commercial Training

The YAS Community and Commercial Training Department has provided first aid and other training services to the NHS, local community and many other organisations for over 15 years. Income generated from these commercial activities is used directly to help fund YAS community initiatives in Yorkshire and the Humber.[12]

University First Responders

Students from the Hull York Medical School (HYMS) and Community First Responders (CFR) from across Yorkshire received training from YAS at Hull Royal Infirmary. In 2012 there were 63 medical students who trained as Community First Responders in Hull and York.[13]

Following the success of this scheme, a similar scheme-LMSCFR-was launched by medical students from the University of Leeds in December 2016. This scheme now has around 40 volunteer responders from all years of the Leeds undergraduate medical course working to provide responder cover in Leeds, especially within the city centre, Hyde Park and Headingley areas.[14]


  1. "YAS Operating Plan" (PDF). Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  2. "YAS in NHS - Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust". Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. "Yorkshire Ambulance Service appoints new Chief Executive and Director of Operations" (Press release). Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  4. "Changes in Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust Board". Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  5. "Ambulance service director criticises 'lazy' staff". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. Yorkshire Ambulance Service (8 March 2016). "Chairman steps down after six successful years" (Press release). Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  7. "Taking Healthcare to the Patient: Transforming NHS Ambulance Services" (PDF). Department of Health. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  8. "New fleet of A&E Ambulances hit Yorkshire - Yorkshire Ambulance Service - O&H". O&H Vehicle Conversions. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  9. "YAS AR-QA-FS 2013–14". Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  10. "YAS Ambulance Response". Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  11. "Ambulance bosses dismiss union's accusations of "manipulating" response figures". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  12. "First Aid Courses Yorkshire". Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  13. "HYMS Medical Students train with YAS to be CRFs" (Press release). 22 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  14. "Dennis Parker Innovation Prize" (Press release). 9 December 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
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