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Paresh Wankhade, Professor of Leadership and Management at Edge Hill University Business School was recently invited to speak about the future of ambulance services at the Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF) Annual Conference in Leicester.

Hosted by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), the ALF attracted senior ambulance leaders from all the NHS ambulance trusts across the UK, board executives, senior managers, front-line staff and other stakeholders to share best practice and ideas on how to improve the way they manage and develop their local services.

The conference gave senior personnel from across urgent and emergency care the opportunity for networking and to hear from key figures in the NHS, Department of Health and other parts of the public and private sector, on current and future leadership thinking and policy development. The event was attended by over 200 delegates and provided the attendees with a unique opportunity to connect with the key decision makers within the ambulance community.

In his address, Professor Wankhade sketched a vision for strategic leadership in the ambulance services. He outlined how the context of pre-hospital care is changing and ambulance organisations around the world are witnessing a strain on their operational budgets with increasing demand for their services.  A combination of factors such as the ageing population, annual rise in the demand of emergency 999 calls, changed nature of the emergency calls, growing competition from private providers and high staff sickness rates are challenging the traditional ambulance delivery. He argued the need for a strong and bold leadership style to deal with the challenges and grasp the opportunity for bringing transformational change. He also led an interactive workshop on ambulance culture and resilience planning on the second day of the conference which was facilitated by NHS Confederation.

Professor Wankhade said:

“I am honoured to be invited to address the ambulance senior leadership. The interaction of academia with the highest levels of ambulance leaders in an important health care emergency service is a step in right direction towards public engagement and impact. This can lead to further collaborative research and funding opportunities for Edge Hill University.”

Professor Wankhade is the Editor-In-Chief of International Journal of Emergency Services  and is recognized as an expert in this field. His research and publications have focussed on the analyses of organisational leadership, cultural change and interoperability between the emergency services His work is contributing to inform debates around interoperability of emergency ‘blue-light’ services and challenges faced by individual services. He coordinates the research seminar series in the Business School.

On Thursday 10th March, Professor Wankhade will deliver his inaugural lecture Strategic leadership for the management of emergency services: case for a new research agenda, during which he will discuss the operation of the emergency services and the challenges they face.

This event is just one of a wider programme taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

Click here for further information and to book your place.