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SCAS honours outstanding staff

The annual staff and volunteer awards, known as the Ambies, were held by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) at Heythrop Park Crowne Plaza, on Friday 24 November. The Ambies showcase those members of staff and volunteers who epitomise the Trust’s values of teamwork, innovation, professionalism and care.

This prestigious black tie event is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of a number of sponsors, including main sponsor Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, along with O&H Vehicle Conversions, Terravix, Ortivus and Zoll.

It was an evening to remember for the winners below:

NHS 111 South Team Leaders and Shift Managers, won the Team of the Year – Operations Award – sponsored by Ortivus.

Phil Swan (far left) from award sponsors, Ortivus, and NHS 111 South Team Leaders and Shift Managers

The person who nominated the team wrote: “The team is immensely proud of working for SCAS and everyone is dedicated to their roles. They never give up and this constant reflection and analysis makes them a strong team and a great example of team working.”

Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service Team Leader, Lenore Mulford, based at the Trust’s Southern House in Otterbourne, won the Commercial Services Contact Centre Person of the Year Award.

NEPTS Contact Centre Manager, Jo Burke, collecting the award on Lenore’s behalf

Lenore received a number of nominations from colleagues, with one writing: “She is understanding, kind and always willing to help no matter what service area it concerns.”

NHS 111 Clinical Service Manager, Nicola Harper, based at the Trust’s Clinical Coordination Centre in Otterbourne, won the 111 Person of the Year Award.

Nicola Harper

Nicola also received a number of nomination from colleagues, one of whom wrote: “She continually puts the needs of the service, her colleagues and her team before her own, Nicola has compassion for her patients and her staff. This is demonstrated in her calls and her endeavour to meet both patient and staff needs.”

Recruitment Advisor, Laura Farrow, based at the Trust’s Bicester Headquarters, won the Support Person of the Year Award.

Laura Farrow

Her nominator wrote: “Laura’s attitude and dedication to SCAS shines throughout everything that she does; she is passionate and driven to deliver a service of quality and high standards and she does this with a smile.”

Paramedic Team Leader, Caroline Edwards, based at the Trust’s Wexham Resource Centre, won the Governors’ Ambassador Award.

Caroline Edwards with (right) SCAS Public Governor for Oxfordshire, Paul Ader

Caroline was nominated for the award by a colleague in Thames Valley Police, who wrote as part of the nomination: “I cannot recommend Caroline highly enough for this award. Thanks to her dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism, she has made a significant and important difference to the way that our two emergency services interact and work with each other, resulting in the best possible outcome for our patients.”

Senior Emergency Call Taker, Michelle Barford, based at the Trust’s Bicester Headquarters, won the Clinical Coordination Centre 999 Person of the Year Award – sponsored by Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure.

Michelle Barford with Nick Chorley and Julie Crombie from award sponsors, Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure

Michelle received a number of nominations from colleagues, with one writing: “Her commitment and enthusiasm for this job, the Trust and the patients are outstanding and she is an asset, a credit and an exceptional friend and manager.”

Senior Operations Manager, Simon Bosher, based at the Trust’s Bicester Headquarters, won the Commercial Services Operations Person of the Year Award.

Simon also received a number of nomination from colleagues, one of whom wrote: “Simon has completely transformed the non-emergency patient transport service. He is always ready to listen to issues or questions and has a positive attitude that is infectious.”

HEMS Paramedics Neil Plant and Andrew Colledge, along with Dr Oliver Hawksley, based at RAF Benson on the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, won the 999 Person of the Year Award.

L-to-R: Neil Plant, Andrew Colledge & Oliver Hawksley

Neil, Andrew and Oliver were nominated for their utmost professionalism and teamwork in response to a serious road collision that had left one van driver trapped and critically injured. They carried out a complex, clinical procedure on the patient in the mangled cab – having to surgically amputate one of his legs. Their nominator concluding: “Performing this exceptional level of care in such a physically challenged situation, under such pressure, was a truly amazing example of brilliant patient care. Without these three inspirational individuals, the patient would not be here today.”

Education Manager, Paul Grant, based at the Boars Hill Education Centre, Oxfordshire, and Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) Team Leader, Paul Haly, based at Winchester & Eastleigh Resource Centre, were Joint Winners of the Educator of the Year Award.

Director of HR & Organisational Development, Melanie Saunders (representing Paul Grant) and Paul Haly

Paul Grant was nominated for “his willingness to go the extra mile for students, even for those on courses he is not assigned to. He is always willing to work with students who are struggling to develop their knowledge and/or skills in an attempt to overcome barriers and issues to improve competence and confidence.”

Paul Haly’s nominee wrote: “He is a natural educator who has developed and delivered a variety of different educational packages which are massively in demand not only from SCAS staff but from partner agencies. These packages enhance staff safety, increase staff knowledge and improve patient care.”

The Patient Experience Team, based at the Trust’s Southern House in Otterbourne, won the Team of the Year – Support Award.

The Patient Experience Team

The team’s nomination included: “The team is continually improving and changing the way they do things for the better. Despite an ever-increasing workload, they have remained a dedicated and flexible workforce with a strong work ethic who never fail to console, comfort and provide support and guidance to all those who contact them.”

Scheme Co-ordinator and Community First Responder for New Milton, Penny Smith, won the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Penny Smith

In the nomination submitted for Penny, her nominator wrote: “Before April 2016 there were no community first responders in New Milton. In a little over a year there is now a strong team of nine CFRs in the town, the group has a high local profile and that is largely down to Penny’s efforts, her passion, commitment and dedication to her local community.”

Reading-based paramedic, Spencer Winch and the Royal Berkshire Hospital Occupational Therapy (RBH OT) Team, along with the Demand Practitioner Team (who operated across SCAS) were joint winners of the Partners and Stakeholders’ Award for Innovation, sponsored by Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure.

L-to-R Kirsten Willis, Clinical Operations Manager – West Berkshire, representing Spencer Winch & the RBH OT Team; Lisa Brown and Vikki Stockley (Demand Practitioners); Nick Chorley & Julie Crombie, from award sponsors Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure; SCAS CEO, Will Hancock

Spencer and the RBH OT Team were nominated for: “Developing a falls and frailty response programme to provide a rapid response service to those patients at risk of falls or the frail elderly and provide a collaborative approach to their care. Patients who had fallen were supported and preventative measures undertaken to ensure they could remain safe and cared for appropriately in their own homes.”

The Demand Practitioners were nominated for: “showing great innovation not only for SCAS but country-wide. The patient plans they develop are used within the clinical coordination centres to better understand a patient’s needs and provide them with a higher level of support. This process reduces the number of inappropriate dispatches and vastly improves patient care.”

Specialist Paramedic, Gary Toohey, based at the Chipping Norton First Aid Unit, won the People’s Pride Award – sponsored by O&H Vehicle Conversions.

Gary Toohey

Gary received 11 nominations, mostly from members of the public, who have seen firsthand what a fabulous job he and his team do at the Chipping Norton First Aid Unit. One nominee wrote: “Gary cared for my five-year-old daughter after she received a nasty burn in an accident at home. He could have referred her back to our GP or the hospital for her daily dressing changes, but as he’d worked hard to build up rapport with her (he was incredible at calming her down and helping her to be brave), he welcomed her back every day with a big smile. Gary is calm, bright, bubbly, warm, friendly and professional and I know a number of people in the community who all have similar stories about this wonderful man.”

All the winners received their awards from award-winning broadcaster, Chris Tarrant OBE, who said at the event:

“When I or members of my family have had to call on the ambulance service, the response has always been fantastic. You are all wonderful people and I thank you for what you do. It was my absolute pleasure to be at the Ambies 2017 and we all had an amazing night.”

Chief Executive, Will Hancock, said:

“The Ambies was a fitting celebration of our most successful year to date and I am very proud of what we have all achieved together. We had a record number of entries from our staff, partners and members of the public so it was a tremendous achievement to be shortlisted let alone be announced as a winner on the night. On the eve of the NHS’ 70th birthday, our winners and nominees have shown that we have the people with the determination, pride and ability to meet any challenge and keep the NHS the envy of the world.”







SOS Treatment Centre opens again in Oxford City Centre

SOS Treatment Centre opens again in Oxford City Centre

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is delighted to announce that the Oxford SOS Service will be operating once again on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 November to 6 January 2018 in Oxford City Centre.

Launched in November 2014, the SOS project was unable to operate this year for a number of reasons. This resulted in growing concerns from Oxford Street Pastors, Thames Valley Police and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust about the lack of medical provision in the city centre which may have led to an increase in 999 responses and A&E presentations for alcohol related incidents.

Between August and December 2016, the number of patients seen by the SOS Service demonstrated that only 12% of patients seen needed to be transferred to A&E; 83% of patients were able to be treated by SCAS staff at the scene and discharged to go home*.

Craig Heigold, Paramedic Team Leader at SCAS and Oxford SOS Project Lead, said:

“The SOS Project provides a valuable service at a time of peak demand – Friday and Saturday nights – for all local NHS and emergency services in Oxford City Centre. I’m delighted that Oxfordshire CCG has once again agreed to fund the service. By doing so we can reduce the demand on our colleagues at A&E, as well as ensure that more Oxfordshire SCAS staff and vehicles are free to respond to non-alcohol related illnesses and injuries elsewhere in the city and surrounding areas. We can also provide a faster and more effective response to patients in the city centre who need us.”

The SOS Service is located in the Cornmarket and is available every Friday and Saturday night from 22.45 to 05.00. The service operates from an emergency ambulance, staffed by two clinicians and a non-clinical member of staff.

*The remaining 2% of patients were discharged to Thames Valley Police.


National award for Bishops Waltham CFRs

National award for Bishops Waltham CFRs

Bishops Waltham Community First Responders (CFRs) were crowned ‘Community Responder Scheme of the Year’ at the UK Heart Safe Awards on Friday 3 November.

Alison Niven, UK Heart Safe Awards Judge, and Jake Balcombe, Bishops Waltham CFR

The Heart Safe Awards are held annually and are the UK’s leading national awards competition to celebrate organisations and employers who invest in creating heart safe environments and the acts of individuals who have saved lives while at work or leisure.

The Bishops Waltham CFRs were shortlisted alongside East Neuk First Responders, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, Trossachs Search & Rescue Team and Yorkshire Ambulance Service Community First Responders.

Jake Balcombe, Bishops Waltham CFR and Emergency Care Assistant for SCAS, represented the group at the gala awards evening and said:

“It was a brilliant evening and good to see all the amazing nominees. We are honoured to receive this award and would like to thank everyone in our local community who helps the CFRs in Bishops Waltham for their support. We couldn’t keep doing what we’re doing without their help.”

The Bishops Waltham CFR scheme has been running for over 15 years in Hampshire and the volunteers respond to over 500 medical emergencies in the medieval market town and surrounding villages of Upham, Durley and Swanmore.

Nic Morecroft, Lead Community Responder Manager for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), said:

“This is wonderful recognition for the efforts of our amazing volunteers in Bishops Waltham and I felt incredibly proud at the awards ceremony when they were announced as the winners. Their award will go some way to saying thank you for the lifesaving difference they make to their local community, everything they do for us and how highly thought of they are by the public, by SCAS and by their peers across the UK.”

The Bishops Waltham scheme is a diverse and enthusiastic group and they are always looking for new members. Volunteers would need to be able to offer a minimum of 20 hours cover in their local community per month. The exact time is completely flexible for each individual volunteer according to the existing work, family and other commitments volunteers have and does not need to be planned rigidly in advance. Volunteers can ‘book on’ and ‘book off’ if, for example, their plans change unexpectedly. All training is provided by SCAS.

To find out more about the role of a CFR:


Photo: L-to-R Alison Niven, UK Heart Safe Awards Judge and Regional Centre Director of intu Trafford Centre; Jake Balcombe, Bishops Waltham CFR and Emergency Care Assistant.

Notes to editors:

Community First Responders come from all walks of life. If you are interested in joining SCAS as a volunteer you will need to be over the age of 18, physically fit and healthy, able to carry out effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for up to 20 minutes (after training) and be a car owner with a full UK driving licence.

Community First Responders (CFRs) receive full training by SCAS to provide life-saving treatment and if they are sent to an emergency they are always backed up with the nearest available ambulance. Every six months, all CFRs must complete training to refresh their skills and there are optional monthly training sessions they can attend too.

SCAS is currently supporting all CFRs to achieve a national qualification – Level 3 Certificate in Ambulance First Response – which will provide them with enhanced emergency medical skills they will be able to utilise prior to our ambulance crews arriving on scene.

Hexagon announced as main sponsors of Ambies event

Hexagon announced as main sponsors of Ambies event

The Ambies is the SCAS flagship event that recognises the exceptional work done by ambulance service employees, in both front-line and support roles, in the South Central region.

Staff who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in their job, and have embraced SCAS’s four key values of Teamwork, Innovation, Professionalism and Caring, are nominated for awards by their peers, colleagues and the general public. A panel selects the winners and runners up in each of the 12 categories.

This year’s Ambies will be presented at a black-tie event taking place on 24 November at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.

Nick Chorley, EMEA Public Safety Industry Lead at Hexagon, said “Hexagon is delighted to be the main sponsors for this year’s Ambies event. Our work with SCAS has allowed us to see first-hand what great people work there, both on the frontline and in support roles, and this is a fantastic opportunity to recognise those people and the outstanding work that they do.

“We at Hexagon have a shared passion with SCAS about using innovation and technology to deliver better outcomes for patients as efficiently as possible.”

Hexagon is the producer of Intergraph Computer Aided Dispatch (I/CAD). I/CAD is a suite of industry-leading incident management software featuring complete, integrated call handling and dispatching, intelligent mapping, field communications and data reporting and analysis.

They ensure the smooth running of I/CAD day-to-day and provide a dynamic development service helping SCAS retain its reputation for clinical excellence and ensuring its full integration with the ever changing local and national health economies.

Several sponsors are already on board for this year’s event

There are still awards available for sponsorship – if you would like to get involved in supporting The Ambies, recognising the great work done by ambulance staff and getting positive exposure for your business or organisation please contact us at

In addition to being our main sponsor, Hexagon are sponsoring two of the awards.

‘EOC Person of the Year’ and ‘The Partners and Stakeholders Award for Innovation of the Year’

O&H Vehicle Conversions
SCAS People’s Pride Award

Ortivis UK Ltd
Team of the Year (Operations) Award

Terrafix Limited
Support Person of the Year Award

Zoll Medical UK Ltd
Table displays and gifts

SCAS opens £2m education and recruitment centre

SCAS opens £2m education and recruitment centre

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) formally opened its state-of-the-art education and recruitment centre in Newbury today (Tuesday, 17 October).

The new facility at Bone Lane in Newbury brings three former education centres used by SCAS under one roof, as well as providing additional space for the Trust’s award-winning recruitment team.

Construction work began on a vacant industrial unit in November 2016 and was completed in July 2017. The shell of the existing structure has been transformed and now contains classrooms, office suites, meeting rooms, video studios, an e-learning suite and secure garage parking for Trust vehicles.

The project also included the design, development and construction of a simulation suite – the first such facility for any ambulance service in Europe. In the simulation suite, new and existing frontline clinical staff can be placed inside a range of different training scenarios with responsive, video footage being projected onto every wall around them.

Ian Teague, Assistant Director of Education at SCAS, said:

“The new education and recruitment centre is a fantastic resource for SCAS and will help us recruit and train the additional staff we need in our emergency 999, urgent care and non-emergency patient transport services. By investing in the very latest technologies and training equipment, we can train our clinical staff to a level and in a volume of numbers that other ambulance trusts are simply unable to match.

This will deliver real benefits to the patients our staff look after, as well as make the Trust operate more efficiently and cost-effectively in terms of recruitment and retention.”

Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, Paul Dick, formally cut the opening ribbon at 12.30, after which guests were able to witness a series of demonstrations including driver training, how some of the latest training equipment and technologies will be used and the innovative new simulation suite.


SCAS presented with Gold Award by HRH Prince Harry

SCAS presented with Gold Award by HRH Prince Harry

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) Chief Executive, Will Hancock, HR Manager, Victoria Dooley and Recruitment Advisor, Laura Farrow, were this week formally presented with the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award by HRH Prince Harry and Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon.

Employer Recognition Scheme 2017 Gold Awards at the Imperial War Museum, London.

At a special event held at the Imperial War Museum, London, on Monday 9 October, SCAS was one of 33 employers to be presented with the 2017 Gold Award. The award is the highest accolade the Ministry of Defence can bestow on employers who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.

Will Hancock said:

“It was an honour to be presented with this award by Prince Harry and Sir Michael Fallon and Victoria, Laura and myself were delighted to be able to tell His Royal Highness and the Defence Secretary about the fantastic support that our people and organisation give to veterans looking for a fulfilling second career and those members of our staff still serving as reservists in our Armed Forces.”

SCAS is one of only two ambulance trusts in England to have received the prestigious Gold Award. The Trust previously held the Silver Award.

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, added:

“This year’s Gold Award winners should be extremely proud of the work they are doing to live up to the Armed Forces Covenant pledge and to promote the pledge to others.

“I’m delighted to recognise employers who make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business. I hope others following their example, thereby delivering a better deal for veterans and armed forces families.”

The Employer Recognition Scheme encompasses three award tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold Award winning employers have to first make pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant, then demonstrate and advocate their support for the Armed Forces. So far, 79 employers have been recognised with a Gold Award.