Ambulance sector duly recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours

This year’s Queen’s New Year Honours list has seen recognition for ambulance employees from Yorkshire and South Western Ambulance Trusts, with the same award going to members of the Scotland and Welsh Ambulance services.

All were recipients of the Queen’s Ambulance Medal, which honours a select group of ambulance personnel who have shown exceptional devotion to duty, outstanding ability, merit and conduct in their roles within NHS Ambulance Services.


From Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the recipient was Dr Julian Mark, Executive Medical Director, YAS. 

Julian has been at the forefront of the UK ambulance sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic leading the national effort as well as the clinical response in his own service at YAS.

He expertly led and supported colleagues through the challenging clinical environment of coronavirus, rising to the challenge of leading the national response as the chair of the National Ambulance Services’ Medical Directors group (NASMeD), a subgroup of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

Julian has held the chair of the NASMeD for two terms over six years, starting in March 2015 and subsequently being unanimously re-elected for a further three years. He is rigorous and passionate about improving clinical patient safety and the quality of care, by reducing unwarranted variation and sharing best practice across the UK ambulance services.

His numerous achievements include developing national clinical best practice such as airway management, care of children, standardising equipment for paediatric and maternity care, leading the establishment of learning from deaths processes and complex coroners’ inquests resulting in numerous clinical improvements.


From South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the recipient was Adrian South, Deputy Director, SWASFT. 


Adrian has made an exceptional and enduring contribution to the development and enhancement of ambulance clinical care over the course of his 21 year career, both within the Trust and at a national level. Driven by a desire to provide the best quality care to patients, he has worked tirelessly to promote the need for appropriate conveyance decisions. He is the driving force behind SWASFT having the best conveyance rates nationally. He has been at the vanguard of the development of paramedic practice, challenging the national norms, and advancing out-of-hospital care for our patients.

Passionate about working with local system partners to improve ambulance access to right patient pathways, he sponsored and led the Trusts minimal lifting policy, which won a national award. This included working with care providers to improve care of non-injury fallers, and in a first for ambulance services, the CFR lifting scheme – equipping our volunteers with lifting skills, knowledge and equipment.

Adrian has made a significant contribution to the quality & safety of patient care, sharing best practice and learning with other partners for patient and clinician benefit. In this respect he has led the introduction of many new drugs, technologies and enhanced skills for paramedics which in many cases have not been previously trialled within the UK Ambulance Services.


In Wales, Jenny Lewis, Duty Operations Manager, has also been awarded the QAM. 

The mother-of-two has more than 30 years of service having joined Clwyd Ambulance Service as an Emergency Medical Technician in 1991.

Jenny played an instrumental role in the move to the purpose-built Area Ambulance Centre in Dobshill in 2012, home to the Trust’s flagship Make Ready Depot.

In November, Jenny and her Operations Manager colleagues in North East Wales won a WAST Award for delivering outstanding patient care and supporting frontline colleagues.


In Scotland, Patrick O’Meara, General Manager of Events at the Scottish Ambulance Service, has been recognised with the QAM. 

Mr O’Meara, 57, joined SAS in 1998, after 17 years at the London Ambulance Service.

Throughout the past four decades, he has been involved in some of the UK’s most significant incidents, including the Clutha Bar crash where he was incident commander, the George Square bin lorry tragedy, and the Stockline Plastics Factory explosion.

Most recently, he has led the Service’s planning and response to COP26 and in the early stages of the pandemic, led on the development and implementation of the Service’s Mobile Testing Units.


About the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal
The Queen's Ambulance Service Medal
The QAM

The Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal (QAM) honours a very small, select group of ambulance personnel who have shown exceptional devotion to duty, outstanding ability, merit and conduct in their roles within NHS Ambulance Services.

The award was introduced in 2011 and ensures that the dedication of ambulance staff now has the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.


All at NARU applaud and congratulate this year’s recipients, who will receive their medals at at investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace later in the new year.