North West Ambulance Service’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Transformation Salman Desai, who is from Blackburn, has featured in the 2022 King’s New Year Honours list. Salman will receive a King’s Ambulance Medal in the New Year.

The King’s Ambulance Medal is awarded to ambulance staff who have shown distinguished service, exemplary dedication to their role, and demonstrated outstanding ability, merit and conduct to their vocation.  On being awarded this honour, Salman said: “I am immensely proud and truly humbled to receive such an award after over 25 years’ service. It is an honour on a personal level but also for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

“Helping people and shaping the organisation to meet and serve the needs of all of our communities is what motivates me. I have enjoyed every step of my career so far and receiving this honour is a true accolade.”

Salman joined the Ambulance Service in 1997 as a paramedic and has kept his paramedic registration to date. From 2007-2015 he was head of service development, undertaking a number of roles transforming services for patients. This included working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups across Greater Manchester to prevent deaths from drug use. In addition to this, he provided commander support in response to two separate major incidents in Cumbria.

The first incident was the shootings that occurred in and around Whitehaven in 2010. The second incident was the major flooding of towns in Cumbria including Cockermouth, Appleby, Keswick, and Kendal which devastated the area resulting in a mass evacuation and support systems to be put in place to look after many hundreds of members of the public displaced at the time.

Salman joined the board of directors in 2016 as director of strategy and planning and earlier this year, he was appointed as deputy chief executive of what is the second-largest ambulance service in the country.

Salman has worked hard to redress the balance of representation from ethnic minority communities within the ambulance sector, acting as a trailblazer for equity, equality, and a better understanding of the personal challenges that can bring. He recently shared his experiences with over 300 other leaders at an Ambulance Leadership Forum.

Some of the steps he has taken to make change include being instrumental in supporting NWAS’ Race Equality Network, moving it to a more formal footing, and ensuring its work is focused and impactful. Salman chairs the trust’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, driving improvements in the experience of patients using our services and staff.

Salman’s portfolio includes patient experience, and he has established a diverse Patient and Public Panel ensuring NWAS listens to and learns from the voice of its communities, from all ages and all backgrounds. This work enables service improvement and helps us address the health inequalities which have increased during the pandemic.

Chief Executive Daren Mochrie QAM, said: “Salman is an exceptional and compassionate leader who always gives freely of his time to support and mentor individuals, teams, and peers across all service lines.  He has been instrumental in developing our newly launched strategy and supporting myself and the Board to lead the transformation of the trust especially so during the past few years of a COVID pandemic.  “He is both a well-respected leader and an asset to NWAS and the ambulance service nationally and I am proud of his achievement.”

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