Critical Friends Network (CFN)

We recognise that involving patients, networks and members of the public in serviceYorkshire Ambulance Service Volunteering logo 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.

We have established a Critical Friends Network (CFN) made up 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 are 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 are 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 NHS Trust (YAS) 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.
  • A quarterly update on the work associated with the CFN.
  • 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 us 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.



  • You must declare any criminal convictions or cautions upon 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 the Patient Experience Team, email

Pam's Story

Read Pam's experience of being a Critical Friend


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.

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