We use cookies to track user visits on this website but all data collected is anonymous and is used only for the purpose of improving the site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. You will only see this message once.

Find out more
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Header Banner

Critical Friends Network (CFN)

We recognise that involving patients, networks and members of the public in service development and delivery is essential. It enables the highest quality of care and treatment to be delivered to patients across the region whilst ensuring the patient experience is a positive one.

This year we are re-establishing a Critical Friends Network (CFN) at YAS consisting of a range of people, patients and members of the public, from different backgrounds who can all provide valuable input into the work we do. The people involved with the network will be expected to have had some contact with the ambulance service within the last three years to ensure relevance of the contributions they can make.

Members of the CFN would be consulted during service developments and this can be in the form of meetings and focus groups or via surveys and emails.

If you are selected to be a Critical Friend this will be for a period of two years at which point the process will be refreshed.

As a Critical Friend of Yorkshire Ambulance Service your support, ideas and contributions to the development and delivery of our services are extremely valued and this page outlines what you can expect from us and what will be expected of you.

What can you expect?

  • A named contact at YAS who you can contact for any information or queries relating to the CFN and associated projects that you are involved with.
  • A quarterly update on the work associated with the CFN including all projects being supported by the CFN and the actions and learning that has taken place as a result of CFN involvement.
  • Direct feedback from any projects or service developments you have been involved with.
  • Appropriate support, training and education to be able to effectively contribute towards the relevant projects and work streams.
  • Full reimbursement of expenses incurred by yourselves (and a personal assistant if you require one) whilst being part of the CFN (this will include travel expenses and other associated expenses such as any phone calls that are required as part of project work).
  • Refreshments will be provided at any engagement events you are attending and if events are around lunchtime, a buffet lunch will also be provided.
  • An annual recognition lunch held by YAS as a thank you for your continued efforts and support throughout the year as a CFN.

What do we require from you?

  • Information about your preferred method of involvement (email, attendance at meetings, survey completion etc.), any subject areas/projects you have a particular interest in this way we can make sure your contributions are tailored to your interests and/or experience.
  • A commitment to attend the events you agree to and/or to return responses and feedback in a timely manner so that we can use your contributions effectively.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the information we give to you and securely keep our documents and your responses.
  • Finally an enthusiasm and passion for making our care and services even better.

Useful information

Mileage expenses

  • Travel expenses for you (and a PA if required) will be covered by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust at a rate of 0.45pence per mile.
  • You will be issued with a mileage claim form to complete on each occasion that you have to travel for a CFN activity and this should be submitted to Amy Binns, email amy.binns@yas.nhs.uk or via post to Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Fairfields, Shipton Road, York, YO30 1XW.
  • Mileage expense forms should be submitted within 28 working days of the event taking place to allow for timely reimbursement.
  •  Additional costs that may have been incurred, eg parking, should be validated by a receipt and attached to the mileage expense form.

Information sharing

  • We will not share your information with any third parties.
  • Your information will be held securely on our database if you are selected to be a part of the CFN.
  • If you are not selected on this occasion to be a part of the CFN we will not hold your information. Any future requests to be involved in a CFN will require the submission of a new application. This is to ensure we are not holding information inappropriately or unnecessarily.

Code of conduct

  • We expect that our Critical Friends will behave in a respectful way to all other members of the CFN and members of YAS staff who are involved with the network.
  • As a CFN you must keep all information shared with you confidential and not share this inappropriately.
  • If you do behave in a way that is disrespectful to any persons involved or if you breach the confidentiality agreement you will be removed from the network with immediate effect.


  • You must declare any criminal convictions or cautions on applying for the CFN. Any convictions/cautions will be considered on an individual basis and this may result in your application being rejected depending on the nature of the offence.
  • You must also declare any memberships or positions that you hold or have held in the past which may cause a conflict of interest if you were to be part of the CFN. Such declarations will be considered on an individual basis in relation to the appropriateness of your involvement with the CFN.
  • You must not be currently, or have previously been, employed by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
  • On applying for the CFN you will be asked to confirm all of the above before your application is accepted.

If you have any queries, please contact YAS’s Patient Experience Lead Rebecca Mallinder, Head of Investigations and Learning, email rebecca.mallinder@yas.nhs.uk

Apply to become a Critical Friend.