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Chief Executive Officer Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Use your transformational leadership skills to orchestrate and galvanise change in this £12m income complex organisation that delivers vital emergency medical services in Devon.

  • Location: Exeter
  • Salary: £115,000, relocation package available
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 16th September

Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) is the charity that raises the funds to keep Devon’s two air ambulances flying and our fleet of Critical Care Cars responding.

Accidents and illnesses happen, and when they do, patients, whatever their age, circumstance or location, need specialist treatment fast. The speed with which our air ambulance doctors and paramedics can reach patients, identify their time-critical needs and provide their specialist life-saving treatments and interventions to slow, halt or even reverse the effects of a life-threatening condition is crucial in helping to achieve a successful outcome.

DAAT’s subsidiary, Devon Air Ambulance Trading Company Limited (DAATCL) provides, maintains the two free at the point of use, life-saving Air Ambulances.

When every second counts, getting the specialist skills of our Critical Care Doctors and Paramedics to the scene is paramount. Devon’s two emergency helicopters enable us to deliver expert critical care to patients wherever they may be.

We also have four Critical Care Cars, which enable our medical team to arrive quickly by road. They are especially useful when responding to incidents in built-up areas. They will also continue to respond when poor weather or essential maintenance prevents the aircraft from flying.

2023 was an extremely busy year for the Charity as a whole, and this was often reflected in the service we provided to our patients. We were deployed to 2226 missions, 1333 by helicopter and 814 by critical care car. Further information can be read here.

Of course, when delivering a medical provision, it is important not just to focus on quantity but quality, which we were judged on when the Care Quality Commission (‘CQC’) also undertook their first ‘Comprehensive Inspection’ of our service in June 2022. We were rated ‘Outstanding’, which is the highest rating we can attain and a significant achievement.

Vision, Mission and Values

Our Vision

To end preventable death, disability or suffering from critical illness or injury.

Our Mission

To transform time-critical care through prevention, treatment and recovery.

Our Values

Our values guide how we relate to each other and inform the work we do and how we do it.

The image consists of three panels, each representing a core value of the Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity. The first panel, in blue, features a light bulb with rays emanating from it above three stylized people. The caption reads "Taking Initiative." The second panel, in teal, depicts a person holding a flag leading two others. The caption reads "Leading the way." The third panel, in red, shows three people with raised arms in a celebratory manner. The caption reads "Achieving our best together." Each panel emphasizes teamwork and leadership in a healthcare context.

We’re motivated by shared values and the knowledge that our work makes a real difference in people’s lives. Because of our values and culture, we believe it’s important to attract, develop, and inspire our staff. We give our team lots of opportunities to grow and develop.

We are a Living Wage Employer and hold a Silver Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, awarded to employers who wish to pledge their intention to support the Armed Forces community. We are a Disability Confident Employer (Level 1) and have signed the charter as a Mindful Employer to support better mental health in the workplace. Also, we have committed to the ACEVO pledge to improve equality and diversity across the charity sector and the Menopause Workplace Pledge as we provide support and understanding for staff going through menopause. In our Best Companies staff engagement survey, we again achieved a 2-star Outstanding Company moving us up in the ranks as an outstanding company to work for. Read more here.

Read more about how we aim to deliver our vision, support our missions and demonstrate our values in our Strategic Plan.

Proud of our independence

Devon Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity. Our ambition is: To be at the leading edge of outstanding delivery, development & transformation of critical care.

The Charity is wholly independent, which means that through the Devon Air Ambulance Trading Company Limited (DAATCL), which is registered with the CQC, we have our own Air Operating Certificate (AOC). Effectively the service and Charity are able to make more operational decisions without the need for a third party, therefore we can liaise directly with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Our Air Ambulances

Devon’s two Air Ambulances are state-of-the-art Airbus Helicopters. They are both owned by the Charity, which has many advantages over leasing. In fact, we have realised savings of over £12,000 per month per aircraft since we bought them.

Our wholly-owned subsidiary trading company holds the Air Operator’s Certificate, making the service truly independent. It has full control over all operational and developmental improvements.

We work closely with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), which deploys the helicopters. Until spring 2019, our paramedic aircrew were employed by SWASFT and seconded to us, but we have since brought our crews ‘in-house’, and they are now employees of Devon Air Ambulance.

The Charity and the other Air Ambulance charities under the SWASFT umbrella fund a specialist HEMS desk (helicopter emergency medical services) staffed by a team of six based at the 999 control room. They monitor tasking and despatch the aircraft in order to optimise availability for the patients most in need.

Our patients are at the heart of everything we. Click here to read more about our patient stories.

About the role

With the retirement of our current CEO in March 2025, we are looking for our new Chief Executive to lead our organisation through transformational change. This is an exciting time to be joining our organisation, and on your ‘to-do list’ will be:

  • The development of digital – how it can enhance our operations and how we communicate both internally and externally
  • Culture and people development
  • Community and public engagement
  • Service delivery
  • Income generation
  • Capital project to build a new combined HQ and airbase near Exeter Airport

Who we are looking for

With a passion for our mission and purpose, and a connection to the County of Devon, you will be a leader who knows how best to lead the transformational change of our complex organisation.

You may not know about all the technical and operational aspects of our organisation (which you will learn once you get here), but you will have the skills, knowledge, and capabilities to deliver a significant change programme in a sensitive, authentic, and people-focused way.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Andrew Brown | andrew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07494 595178

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Andrew Brown

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Welcome from the Chair

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Non-Executive Directors, I’d like to thank you for considering the opportunity to join Devon Air Ambulance as our next Chief Executive. This role is pivotal in steering our organisation towards new heights and ensuring we continue to work towards our mission of transforming time-critical care through prevention, treatment, and recovery for the people of Devon.

An air ambulance service is an essential lifeline in a county as vast and varied as Devon. For over three decades, we have been at the forefront of delivering critical pre-hospital care to those in urgent need, thanks to our dedicated team, volunteers, and the unwavering support of our community.

As the Chief Executive, you will be at the helm of an organisation that prides itself on excellence, innovation, and compassion. Your leadership will be crucial in navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, fostering strong relationships with stakeholders, and inspiring a talented team committed to our mission.

We are looking for a transformational and authentic leader with a passion for making a difference. Someone who can uphold our values of taking the initiative, leading the way, and ensuring that we achieve our best together. Your strategic insight, coupled with an excellent understanding of the landscape within which Devon Air Ambulance operates, will be instrumental in driving our future success.

Joining Devon Air Ambulance means joining a passionate organisation dedicated to saving lives and preventing suffering, making a tangible impact on the community we serve. If you are ready to lead purposefully and inspire others through your commitment to excellence, we would welcome you to our team.

Thank you for considering this remarkable opportunity. We look forward to the possibility of working together to continue making a profound difference in the lives of those we serve.

Will Matthewman

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: Devon Air Ambulance Trust – Chief Executive Officer” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Andrew Brown | andrew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07494 595178

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

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    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: Monday 16th September 2024
    Initial interview in-person with Peridot Partners and Devon Air Ambulance Trust: w/c Monday 23rd and Monday 30th September 2024
    Final interview and Stakeholder Event in-person: Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th October 2024

    We are in the process of confirming interview dates. We will update the site once confirmed and contact those who have applied.

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Devon Air Ambulance Trust are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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