Queen’s Ambulance Medals announced in 2017 New Year Honours List

The Queen's Ambulance Medal
The Queen’s Ambulance Medal

The most recent recipients of the prestigious Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for Distinguished Service were announced in the 2017 New Year Honours List.

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.

NARU would like to congratulate all those deservedly recognised for health and social care service in the New Year Honours.

The two QAM recipients for England were:

  • Bob Williams, Former Chief Executive, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
    Bob joined the Ambulance Service after serving in the Royal Navy as an Aircrew Officer.  He was one of the first cohort of UK ambulance paramedics.  Over a 30 year career, Bob progressed from a frontline clinician to leading the North West Ambulance Service as CEO .  Bob has always championed staff development and initiatives which positively impact on the Trust’s culture and working environment.Bob inspires and motivates others by developing a vision for leadership and improvement.  He is very well-respected and is a leader with conviction and absolute integrity.
  • Paul Smith, Sector Delivery Manager, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
    Paul Smith started his career with the  London Ambulance Service (LAS) as Trainee Ambulance Man at the age of 19.  Moving upwards into roles such as Senior Duty Officer and Ambulance Operations Manager – and into his current position as Sector Delivery Manager – he has spent two thirds of his life dedicated to serving the population of London.Paul has been an instrumental player in the introduction of many initiatives including the first Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, as well as founding the Accident Investigation Division, he has truly helped shaped the Service that we know today. His planning skills are second to none as shown when he represented the Service as a Venue Commander during the London Olympic Games 2012 as well as taking tactical command during countless events across the Capital.His continual commitment to patient care and staff progression, coupled with his loyalty and calm manner are traits which have been admired by others throughout his career.A training progress report from February 1976 includes a statement from his Supervisor, “I am pleased with this young man’s work.  He tries and succeeds in making good judgements in his work.  He will make a good and reliable Ambulance Man”.  Well respected by all, a complete Ambulance Man and 40 years hence,  a truer word could not have been spoken.

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.

Steve Irving, Executive Officer at AACE and responsible for coordinating QAM nominations, emphasised the prestige attached to the QAM:

“AACE can only put forward a maximum of four candidates in any one year from across the English ambulance services. Citations are always of a high standard but these two recipients really do represent what the award set out to do in recognising ‘exceptional and distinguished service’.

Both Paul and Bob have dedicated their careers to helping patients and supporting colleagues, AACE are delighted their service has been recognised with the award of a QAM.”

Elsewhere, Nigel Rees, Head of Research and Innovation, and Andrew Challenger, Senior Education and Development Lead, both of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, were the Welsh recipients.

Nigel, who has dedicated 24 years to the service, has been instrumental in the recent success of the Trust in winning two prestigious Research for Patient and Public Benefit grants.

Meanwhile Andrew, who has been with the service for almost 30 years, has led many significant educational projects that have resulted in substantial improvements for patients and staff alike.

Chief Executive Tracy Myhill said:

“We are extremely proud that both Nigel and Andrew have been recognised and it’s a testament to the sterling service they have provided to the Trust and to the people of Wales over the years.”

Read more about their citations here.

In Scotland, the QAM was awarded to John Alexander, Head of Service for the Scottish Ambulance Service.

John has served with the Ambulance Service for 31 years and shows exceptional devotion to duty. Throughout his career John has worked as a paramedic and Team Leader responding to 999 calls and providing cover for a large number of major events that have taken place in Edinburgh. Over the past 20 years he has been the principle lead Tactical and Strategic Operational Manager responsible for planning the ambulance, medical and first aid provision at many high profile events.

John has also filled the role of Ambulance Event Commander, planning and leading multi-agency, civil contingency, live play and table top exercises which has ensured that Edinburgh has an international reputation for holding safe, successful and enjoyable events. The annual events which are most notable are Royal Week, Royal Military Tattoo, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, and the Royal Highland Show. John also played a pivotal role during the Papal visit in 2010.

The full list of New Year Honours for Health and Social Care Services can be read here.

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.