SCAS staff commended by Thames Valley Police

May 23, 2024 | Members e-Bulletin, News, Stakeholder eBulletin

Four members of staff from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) recently received a Chief Superintendent Commendation from Thames Valley Police for their part in a joint response to an emergency incident last summer in Reading.

Team leader, Nicola Wright, paramedics Matthew Evans and Simon Bell, and emergency care assistant, Ashley Howell, alongside three officers from Thames Valley Police (TVP), all responded to an emergency 999 call made by a member of the public following the discovery that one of their housemates had attempted to take their own life.

Matthew, who was volunteering on this incident for the South Central Ambulance Charity in his capacity as a paramedic, was first on scene with one of the TVP officers and they found the patient in cardiac arrest. Between them, they started resuscitation attempts and with the arrival of Nicola, Simon and Ashley, and two further TVP officers, advanced life support interventions were carried out. After 13 minutes, there was a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and the patient’s vital signs improved to a point where they could be transported to hospital.

The team were nominated for a Chief Superintendent’s Commendation, with the nomination citing:

“This was a superb example of teamwork with members of the police force working with partner agencies in a common purpose, following Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme (JESIP) principles. The hard work and professionalism of the team gave the patient the best possible chance of survival, but in spite of their efforts, they passed away in intensive care a short while later. Despite this tragic outcome, the patient went on to help four other people through organ donation. This was only possible through the initial hard work of all those involved at the scene of the incident and the medical staff at the hospital.”

Nicola Wright, paramedic team leader at SCAS, said: “It was a very busy scene with a lot of police officers from different units and SCAS crews from different operational areas. Everyone worked seamlessly and we each had our own, defined roles as we strived to deliver the best outcome for the patient. Sadly, the outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for but through the patient’s generous organ donation, other people’s lives have been saved and transformed. We are therefore very proud to have been nominated for such a prestigious award.”

Some of the four people who benefitted from the organ donation had been on the transplant waiting list for over six years and all the recipients received lifesaving and life changing donations.

The commendations were presented by Darren O’Callaghan, chief superintendent at Thames Valley Police, at a special ceremony on 24 April.