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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.”