Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff praised for long service

30 December 2022

Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff praised for long service

Members of staff with a combined service of 3,280 years have been recognised by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) at the Long Service and Retirement Awards 2022, including one member of staff who has clocked up an incredible 50 years.

They gathered for the special celebration at Pavilions of Harrogate and were joined by other guests including Reverend Brian Hunt, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

This year’s recipients of awards for 20, 30, 40 and 50 years’ service include staff from A&E Operations, the Emergency Operations Centre, non-emergency Patient Transport Service, NHS 111, clinical education, project management, and quality improvement.

The honours also included the Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which was awarded to 32 staff on the day for 20 years’ exemplary frontline emergency service and 14 retirees were also recognised for their valuable service to the Trust and communities across Yorkshire.

In total, 43 individuals were congratulated for achieving 20 years’ NHS service and 10 individuals for reaching the 30 years’ service milestone. Seven staff were recognised for an incredible 40 years of service.

The longest-serving member of staff in attendance was Service Development Project Manager (Integrated Urgent Care) Bob Sunley, who picked up an award for an outstanding 50 years’ service.

Bob started his career with East Yorkshire County Council Ambulance Service (which later became Humberside Ambulance Service) on 1 March 1971 as an ambulance cadet, working initially as an ambulanceman in Beverley and Bridlington.  He also worked in the control room where he was Control Superintendent. After 23 years in operations, he became Director of Business Development for Humberside Ambulance Service, before taking on the role of General Manager for NHS Direct when it was hosted by Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service (TENYAS). Latterly, he has been a huge part of the NHS 111 management team, delivering many successful projects in the urgent care service.

Rod Barnes, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said:
“The pressures the service and wider NHS have faced over the last three years have been the most significant of our lifetime and are likely to be with us for some time to come. This has tested our physical and emotional resilience as never before.

“During these pressured moments we often don’t spend enough time simply letting people know how we feel, saying thank-you or well done, you’ve done a great job.

“So, it’s even more important that we take time at these awards ceremonies to ensure colleagues are recognised for the fantastic work that they do and their tireless dedication to patient care. 

“The commitment, compassion and teamwork shown by people across the service in responding to the pandemic and wider challenges has been simply extraordinary and humbling to witness. Everyone has consistently gone above and beyond for our patients, and they all have so much to be really proud about.”

The awards ceremony was also an opportunity for members of staff who recently retired to celebrate a lifetime of service to the NHS. Some of them enjoyed their jobs so much that they have come out of retirement and returned to work.

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department