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. Today’s two recipients for England include:
- Steve Payne, Paramedic (Retired) at South East Coast Ambulance Service. Steve has been recognised for the valuable contribution he has made to the ambulance service and in particular his work supporting new staff through mentorship. A great supporter of his colleagues, Steve has worked tirelessly to provide guidance for those starting out in their careers. He always leads by example and as an advocate for patients he consistently demonstrates how to do things the right way, regularly going the extra mile for his colleagues and patients, often finishing later than shift times required and staying behind to ensure junior staff had someone to talk things through with.Many of those he has mentored have gone on to become paramedics themselves, which is perhaps the best indication of the vital role he has played in the development of others. This is particularly pertinent as Steve has undertaken all the additional work on an entirely voluntary basis, something we see rarely and should be celebrated.
- David Whitmore, Senior Clinical Adviser, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Throughout his 35 year career with the ambulance service, David has served both his patients and his colleagues with compassion, integrity and kindness. His recent leadership ensured that ‘End of Life – Coordinate My Care’ plans are now recognised in the ambulance service and that patient centred care can mean dying with dignity. This innovation is an example of what David does best. He leads by example – with passion, knowledge and gives 100% to what he believes is right for patients.David’s enthusiasm led him from ambulance cadet through to being one of the UK’s first paramedics. He has been Head of Training and been instrumental in developing higher educational pathways for paramedics. David is also heavily involved with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is nationally recognised as an expert in his field.
The recipients are now entitled to place the letters ‘QAM’ after their names, on occasions when the use of such letters is customary. In accordance with custom, the medals will be formally presented at an Investiture Ceremony later in the year.
Elsewhere, Paul Bassett, General Manager of Scottish Ambulance Service was the Scottish recipient.
Paul has served 18 years with the Ambulance Service, 14 with East of England and four with Scottish Ambulance Service. Throughout his career, Paul has led and developed innovative clinical and operational improvements. In the East of England Ambulance Control room he developed the concept of high performance ambulance systems introducing system status planning and management.
In response to increasing demand and changes in the delivery of health care, Paul was integral to leading the Ambulance Service response to improving patient flow.
In addition to management of the high profile South East Division, Paul is national lead on a number of areas including unscheduled care, strategic liaison with Police Scotland and developing and embracing collaborative working. He has led development of a new operational uniform and has developed innovative discharge arrangements in NHS Lothian, which are being adopted for roll-out across Scotland.
Colin Robert Jeffery, Head of Operations and Hywel Dda University Health Board received the QAM in Wales.
In Northern Ireland the QAM was awarded to Thomas McGarey, Risk Manager at Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
Martin Flaherty OBE, Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) said:
“We are extremely proud to see the latest group of high quality ambulance professionals recognised for their hard work with the awarding of this prestigious Medal.”
The QAM was introduced in 2012 and the number of nominations in any one year may never exceed ten and includes up to four Medals for England, up to two Medals for Wales, up to two Medals for Scotland, up to one Medal for Northern Ireland and up to one Medal for the Channel Islands.
The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) is responsible for co-ordinating the nominations of QAMs in England, with nominations coming from within Trusts and being seconded by their Trust Chief Executives before being sent for consideration for final nomination by the AACE Board.