Date published: 8 May 2024

After a decade at EMAS as a Non-executive Director and Chairman of the Executive Board, Karen Tomlinson’s term as Chair comes to an end in July.

Karen has worked hard to shape the future of local services through engagement, supporting the development of our strategies, and has effectively led our Trust Board, whilst setting the tone for our developing organisational culture.  

Through her engagement with commissioners and NHS partners across the East Midlands, and nationally through her contributions at the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, Karen has enhanced our reputation. She has encouraged more stakeholders to get involved in shaping and supporting delivery of our ambitions and to work together to find ways to fix sustained challenges.   

Karen joined EMAS as a Non-Executive Director in August 2014, and was appointed to the role of Chairman, starting a two-year initial term on 1 August 2022.

Karen said:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at EMAS and will be very sad to say goodbye. EMAS has been one of the most rewarding jobs in my total NHS career.

"Together we have made significant strides to improve and develop services, despite ongoing and sustained pressures.

"Through our new five-year strategy, we have created and published a clear vision and ambitions to improve services for our staff and volunteers and to enhance the care and treatment we provide to our patients.

"Compassionate leadership has always been a priority for me, and I have valued the observation shifts, reverse mentoring opportunities, and conversations I’ve had with colleagues, leaders, EMAS network leads, and our Trade Union colleagues, to help shape and progress plans, and develop our culture.

"We’ve much to achieve over the coming months, so you can be assured I won’t be taking my foot off the pedal.

"I’m confident that there will be strong candidates interested in the EMAS Chair role during the recruitment process. It’s a great opportunity for someone who wants to lead the Board and development of plans to deliver the ambitions; and EMAS is full of wonderful people who continue to work incredibly hard to deliver the best possible care – it truly is a great team to be part of.

"Thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences with me, supported my reflective practice, and worked with me – it’s been a real privilege working with you."

NHS England are now seeking to appoint an exceptional leader to Chair EMAS and to build on the strong foundations that Karen will leave in July.

The candidate brief and details of how to apply can be viewed via: with applications closing at 12 noon on 17 May.