A LONG-serving manager has picked up a prestigious award for the outstanding contribution she has made to the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) in Wales.
Joanne Rees-Thomas, who is based at the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Central and West Regional Headquarters in Swansea, won the Patient Transport Services Award at the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives Outstanding Service Awards 2018.
Having joined the service in 1986, Joanne has held a number of roles within the organisation both for NEPTS and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), working on improving operational processes and implementing areas of change throughout the organisation.
Appointed as the NEPTS General Manager for the Central and West region in July 2016, Joanne now manages more than 240 staff.
Joanne said: “It was a genuine surprise to have the nomination and to be awarded such an accolade, one that I was really truly honoured to receive.
“It’s wonderful to have such a prestigious award that positively reflects the immense modernisation programme that is underway within NEPTS in the Welsh Ambulance Service.
“I was very pleased to accept the award on behalf of all the teams in NEPTS who work hard every day on behalf of the patients and communities we serve.”
Nick Smith, Deputy Director of NEPTS, said: “Joanne constantly drives forward our focus on patient care, ensuring high standards are maintained at all times.
“She is highly respected by operational colleagues, control staff, commissioners and patients alike.
“In 2016 a modernisation programme was announced to enhance the services provided by the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service in Wales.
“Joanne led these changes across Wales and was instrumental in implementing a Trust-wide team leadership structure, appraisal processes, role-based training and developing an apprenticeship scheme.
“She has introduced a mentorship programme, which is aiding the creation of the next generation of supervisors, and provides support for new entrants. Joanne has also led improvements in call taking and journey co-ordination.
“Much of this has been taken forward through her own determination and demonstrates her motivation to do the best she can for the service.”