WAST Director of Operations joins St John Ambulance

Richard Lee leaves WAST to become Chief Operating Officer for St John Ambulance.

A distinguished ambulance executive and paramedic with 25 years’ service in the NHS has joined St John Ambulance as second-in-command.

Richard Lee, awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal in 2016, left his post as Director of Operations at the Welsh Ambulance Services (WAST) to become Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the charity.

The COO role has been created by Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown, who joined St John Ambulance a year ago, to help realise his vision of harnessing volunteer power to build safe and healthy communities.

In the last three years, Richard Lee has led WAST through a transformational clinical modernisation programme and introduced a new response model that has attracted national and international interest. He also led volunteer activity at WAST, overseeing the development of 4000 community first responders across Wales.

In addition, Richard is an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, where he is Fellow of the Faculty of Immediate Medical Care.

Martin said: “With his wealth of experience and track record of innovation and leadership, Richard’s appointment as COO will be a real strength as we take our charity forward into the future. As my number two, Richard will bring our operational work together under one leadership, ensuring our collective resources are united in our common purpose of serving our communities.”

Richard said, “I feel honoured to have joined this organisation, which has such a rich heritage of saving lives and supporting communities. I’m excited to play my part in its future. I’m proud of what I achieved at WAST and look forward to using my knowledge and experience to further strengthen St John Ambulance’s partnership with ambulance trusts across the country to deliver great patient outcomes.”

The support of NHS ambulance services forms a core part of the work carried out across communities each day by thousands of St John Ambulance volunteers.