Ambulance Service mourns passing of Liz MacKean


A large number of NHS ambulance staff have paid tribute to Liz MacKean, the investigative reporter and inveterate supporter of the ambulance service who died last week aged 52.

Alongside a high profile broadcasting career in national news, Liz became interested in the work of the ambulance service and narrated many training and informational films which were developed on behalf of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU).

As a high profile former BBC journalist, Liz was also called upon to Chair AACE’s annual Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF) event where she met many of the service’s senior managers and clinicians.

Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service and Chair of AACE, said:

“Liz is a very sad loss at every level – her family, her friends, the NHS and the Ambulance Service. She was a hugely popular figure at many of our national events and she will be greatly missed.”

Liz had also previously chaired the annual Ambition event, where she met, and was hugely impressed by, many of the service’s Hazardous Area Response Team members and those responsible for emergency preparedness across the ambulance service.

Keith Prior, Director of NARU said: 

“Liz was a great supporter of the work of NARU and especially of the frontline staff who work in HART teams across the country. She added a great deal of realism to all NARU training and exercising – especially our large scale multiagency Amber events – where she enjoyed grilling our commanders on camera and really preparing them for the reality of the media scrum in a major incident.

Above all Liz was always kind, considerate, hardworking and good fun and her work for NARU and the NHS showed her compassion and support for the community at large. We will all miss her.”

Martin Flaherty, Managing Director of AACE added:

“Liz was a very successful, high profile journalist who took a keen and welcome interest in the ambulance service. Whether chairing our ALF conference or presenting one of our films, we could always be assured of her total professionalism at all times. She made many friends right across the ambulance service and we have received many messages of condolence from people whose lives she touched.”

Dave Bull, NARU Head of Education & Training said:

“Liz started her work assisting the emergency services providing media awareness as part of national CBRN command courses. She moved on to assist in the development of strategic commanders as part of the MAGIC course.

Most importantly Liz has provided advice regarding the modern media to nearly every HART initial course. Her keen sense of humour, pragmatic advice and ability to engage with responders across disciplines made Liz a fantastic asset to courses.

Many HART staff will remember Liz from the interviews undertaken, often in a lighthearted manner but always with a view to ensuring responders were as well prepared as possible. Liz really became part of the education faculty, a real team player, assisting the development and delivery of courses, sharing her experiences for the benefit of the public and responding staff, always ready to deal with the last minute changes that courses require.

I will always remember Liz when she attended her first HART final exercise, completely unfazed by the pouring rain and rather traumatic scenario. Liz to me and the team was an incredible professional, always interested in the why’s, what’s and how’s about how we as a service respond.”

For obituaries to Liz please click on the following links:   

BBC    |    Guardian    |    Telegraph