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Tasnim Ali

Service Planning and Development Manager, A&E Operations

Tasnim Ali Service Planning and Development Manager, A&E Operations

Tasnim Ali’s role involves working with colleagues in clinical commissioning groups and hospitals to get services right for patients. “Often it’s a trouble-shooting role, trying to sort out problems,” she says. “It is also about building partnerships to improve and influence patient care. I really do try to think about how each one of my actions has a consequence for a patient.”

Tasnim is a registered nurse. She studied for her nursing degree and trained in Leeds, then worked at Airedale until she left the job to have her first son.

He was still very young when she took him for an appointment at the local GP surgery and the doctor, discovering she was a nurse, encouraged her to apply for his practice nurse vacancy. “I used to drop my son at the nursery around the corner,” Tasnim says. “Then work for a few hours, fitting it in around breastfeeding.”

“I’ve always been determined. And I’ve always enjoyed the academic side of the profession. From the GP practice job, I went on to study for my district nurse qualification and then worked in Halifax and Todmorden. At that time I was happy to wear the uniform with its mid-length skirt – my Muslim faith wasn’t as strong as it is now. I think now I would have said no.”

“I then moved to a new district nursing job in Leeds and had my second son. I went back to work when he was six months old. I think people assumed that, as an Asian woman, I had a big family around me to help with the childcare. But no, they went to nursery.”

“When my second son was only a few months old I got the opportunity to start a masters degree. Yes, it was very hard. It should have taken two years to complete the course but it took me five years. In that time I had two more children, so I had three toddlers at home. What kept me going? I was determined. And I enjoyed the mental challenge.”

Having completed the degree Tasnim took on increasingly senior managerial roles and joined YAS in 2010 as an Assistant Director of A&E in West Yorkshire. It was the most nervous I’d been for any job. My nursing roles had always involved working teams with mainly women. This was a very male dominated environment. But it was fine. People just treated me as me.”

It is remarkable how Tasnim has managed to fit her career and family around each other. “At the heart of all my achievements is my husband,” she says. We now have six children, aged eight to 24. As they have grown up it is him who has dropped them off and picked them up from their nurseries and schools. He gave me the flexibility to follow my career ambitions.

“Whatever I have done I have always been passionate, determined and had a can-do attitude. I’ve learned resilience; to keep going when things are challenging.

In addition to her role in the A&E operations team, Tasnim is also chair of the YAS Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff network. She wants to help build the BME representation in the ambulance service and the paramedic profession. In particular she would love to see more Asian women working in the service. “We have some big challenges,” Tasnim says. “But it has been exciting to re-launch the network with the support of the Trust Board. I am sure we can make a difference.”