Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that it is represented in four categories at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence, which honour the contributions of staff and volunteers in the UK air ambulance community.
The shortlisted nominees were announced on Monday 21 September by the Association of Air Ambulances and the winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony to be held on 16 November at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.
Doctor Ian Mew has been shortlisted in the Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year category. Ian is a Consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine and Clinical Director of Major Trauma at Dorset County Hospital. He has been part of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team for over two years, and was recruited as one of the flying faculty of doctors who provide mentoring to the paramedics, as part of their MSc Advanced Paramedic Practice (Critical Care) Education Programme.
Ian is the Clinical Lead for Dorset Police and also a keen motorcyclist. He is passionate about the primary prevention of trauma and is actively involved with the national police-led scheme ‘BikeSafe’ which aims to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or injured on the roadside. He is also an advocate of simulated training exercises and although they are extremely rare within the NHS today, he initiated a live multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, paediatric major trauma simulation at Dorset County Hospital earlier this year. The training exercise took place in the Paediatric Resus Bay of the hospital’s Emergency Department and utilised on-call staff, in a real-life setting, using a paediatric manikin and ICT systems as they would be used in a real life patient scenario.
Ian has taken the lead on developing and instituting the governance infrastructure which will enable Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to carry and deliver blood products in the very near future. He brings passion and expertise to so many different avenues within the community; whether working in theatre, flying on air ambulance missions or delivering his workshops; his boundless enthusiasm for pre-hospital care is a driving force for positive change in the South West of England and provides an example to UK clinicians. In July 2015, he was one of 12 people to receive the Jubilee Award for Service. This award recognises those who work within the public sector who go above and beyond their remit by dedicating their working life to helping others or making a significant contribution to the lives of others.
Paul Owen is shortlisted in the Air Ambulance Paramedic of the Year category. Employed by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT); Paul has worked on the air ambulance for over 11 years. During this time he has championed and delivered many major initiatives. Keen to explore every facet of pre-hospital medicine, Paul is continually looking for the next opportunity to advance. He played a significant role in the change of practice with regards to the use of ketamine by SWASfT paramedics and is now facilitating the rollout of ketamine further afield.
Paul’s contribution to the air ambulance sector is far reaching. He has written numerous SOPs and best practice documents on procedures such as: surgical airways, finger thoracotomies’ and the post cardiac arrest use of adrenaline, all of which are setting standards across the board. He has worked tirelessly to bring Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to the forefront of HEMS operations in the UK. He leads by example at all times and has a passion and drive which places the patient at the centre of operations at all times.
Further recognition is given to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for the initiation, development and delivery of a unique Post Graduate Education Programme for their paramedics. Funded entirely by the charity and run in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and senior doctors and consultants from local hospitals; the initiative was also shortlisted for the 2015 HSJ Awards earlier in September and is shortlisted once again within the ‘Air Ambulance Innovation’ category.
Finally, the Charity’s brilliant Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge becomes a shortlist for the ‘Air Ambulance Campaign of the Year’. Created as a challenge and not a race, the event has gone from strength to strength, generating in excess of £272,000 for the charity. With only 600 places available, demand is always high; in 2015, it sold out within six days of online registration being open. The level of community engagement involved with the planning and delivery of the event is unabridged, as is the commitment and determination of the small team from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance who strive to make every year better than the last.
The independent judging panel met on 15 September and considered all entries made across the ten categories. The number of entries was up 25% on the previous year and the quality was higher than ever.
Chloe Smith MP, Chair of the Judging Panel, said: “The level of expertise and dedication of the people working in the air ambulance sector is extraordinary and these awards are a wonderful way of showcasing their work. This year’s awards entries were truly outstanding and contained stories of individual bravery, determination and brilliance, as well as outstanding teamwork, skill and vision, so it was a very difficult task to choose the shortlists. Each and every nominee is clearly an exceptional individual or team, and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work. With great difficulty, we have narrowed down the field and now look forward to the winners being announced in November.”
Tracy Bartram, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Communications Manager said: “To be shortlisted for one Air Ambulance Award of Excellence is a great achievement, but to be represented in four categories is outstanding. This highlights the fantastic work of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team across all areas and we are delighted that these individuals and initiatives have once again been recognised at a national level.”
A full list of categories and all those shortlisted as finalists can be viewed by visiting: http://www.associationofairambulances.co.uk/news/54/
More information on Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can be found at: www.dsairambulance.org.uk