AN ambulance service has welcomed its new chief executive to the role.

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has announced Helen Ray has replaced Yvonne Ormston MBE, who left the post in May.

Mrs Ray has joined the organisation from Northumbria Healthcare, where she has been the chief operating officer since that post was formed in July 2018, overseeing urgent and emergency care, medicine, child health and community services with board level responsibility and emergency planning and preparedness.

She said: "I am absolutely delighted to be appointed to a high performing ambulance trust. I am keen to further support the staff in the great care that they provide. I am also keen to explore how we can continue to improve."