Three dedicated members of the NHS Ambulance Service in England, two each from Scotland and Wales, and one from Northern Ireland, have become the latest recipients of the prestigious Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for Distinguished Service, announced in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on Saturday 12 June 2021.
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 three QAM recipients for England are Simon Swallow from North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Fionna Moore of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, and Jason Morris from London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Strategic Head of Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response at NEAS
Simon was a cadet in the ambulance service aged 16 and qualified as a paramedic seven years’ later in 1993. He quickly received the appreciation from the Department of Health for his work on the reception, treatment and transportation of the four Bosnian casualties flown in to Newcastle by the RAF. This later became the Reception Arrangements for Military Patients (RAMP) programme, transporting casualties from abroad to major trauma centres.
Simon has gone on to be involved in numerous multi-agency operations, some high profile, where his experience and skills have made a difference in both caring for patients and protecting the public, including Operations Hourglass and Ginger. the 2012 Olympics, the Great North Run and the World Transplant Games.
Recently, Simon has led on the COVID-19 swabbing, anti-body testing and vaccine programme, working tirelessly to organise clinics and act as a point of contact for all staff and liaising with partners to secure vaccine appointments.
Medical Director at SECAmb
Fionna has enjoyed a distinguished and lengthy career in the ambulance service spanning more than 20 years. As one of the UK’s longest serving Emergency Medicine Consultants, she has contributed to significant changes in UK pre-hospital practice in the last 30 years. She is one of just six recipients to receive the medal in today’s announcement.
Fionna has also served as SECAmb’s chief executive and was previously medical director and chief executive at London Ambulance Service. At SECAmb she has overseen work to raise clinical standards including exemplary work on medicines governance which was subsequently hailed by the CQC as outstanding.
She is held in the very highest regard among SECAmb staff and the wider ambulance service, both nationally and internationally., and has been instrumental in the development of specialist paramedic roles in critical care. She is a listed author in more than 30 academic studies.
Clinical Team Manager at LAS
During his time at LAS, Jason has championed many initiatives including the development of a ‘Red-Bag’ scheme for care home residents in Sutton which reduced hospital stays by up to four days. This local initiative was rolled out nationally in 2018.
Since 2009, Jason has also been seconded to London’s Air Ambulance and is currently one of its longest serving paramedics. He takes a leading role in training and developing the team of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) doctors and paramedics. He has also spearheaded improvements to the performance and efficiency of the London’s Air Ambulance dispatch systems by harnessing new technology.
More recently during the Covid-19 response, Jason took a leading role in protecting LAS staff, volunteers and patients by ensuring medics had the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and finding solutions when challenges arose.
We are also delighted to announce that London Ambulance’s Amanda Mansfield has been awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Midwifery’, about which you can read more here.
Amanda’s MBE comes less than three months after she was presented with a prestigious ‘Chief Midwifery Officer’s Gold Award’ to recognise the achievements of a career in midwifery spanning 30 years.
In Wales, the recipient of the QAMs are Andy Swinburn and Sue Owen-Williams.
Associate Director of Paramedicine, WAST
Andy joined Lancashire Ambulance Service in 1991 as an Ambulance Person and progressed to Ambulance Technician, Paramedic, Leading Ambulance Paramedic and Operational Trainer. He subsequently progressed to leadership and consultant roles and NWAS and EMAS, before securing his current position at the Welsh Ambulance Service in 2017.
He already has a string of awards to his name, including Health Service Journal’s Best Innovation Award, as well as the Allied Health Professional of the Year Award and Allied Health Professional Clinical Leadership Award in the Advancing Healthcare Awards.
Nurse Advisor for NHS 111 Wales, WAST
Sue joined NHS Direct Wales – now the NHS 111 Wales service – in 2005 as a Nurse Advisor after working as a Staff Nurse on a genito-urinary unit, having qualified in 1994.
Sue, who is based in Bangor, Gwynedd, has raised thousands of pounds for cancer charities through a series of gruelling walks, including Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk and nine of Walk the Walk charity’s MoonWalks.
We are also pleased to note that Tracy Myhill, lately Swansea Bay University Health Board and Welsh Ambulance Services Chief Executive, has been awarded an OBE for her services to NHS Wales.
In Scotland, QAMs have been awarded to William Kinniburgh and Trevor Spowart.
Strategic Operations Manager, Scottish Ambulance Service
Strategic Operations Manager Billy has worked tirelessly to design and deliver new ways of working to better support patients throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A key member of the team that delivered the ambulance station at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital, Billy helped the project, situated at the Glasgow International Exhibition Centre, to be built and operational in just three weeks.
Always an exemplary member of staff, Billy has worked clinically as a paramedic; in operational management; in specialist operations and in a senior operational oversight role. He has achieved a huge amount, diligently delivering a high quality service in a respectful and supportive way.
General Manager Fleet, Scottish Ambulance Service
General Manager Fleet Trevor Spowart joined the Scottish Ambulance Service in 2008 as a Regional Fleet Manager. He became Acting General Manager in 2013, with the role made permanent in 2016.
In his time as General Manager, Trevor has overseen a significant improvement in the service fleet. His efforts have seen the average age of ambulances and other vehicles reduced from five to two and a half years. He has replaced older vehicles with more fuel efficient, lower emission and better equipped models and has overseen the successful roll-out of electric vehicles, while managing the 1200-strong Scottish Ambulance Service fleet operating out of 15 workshops.
In Northern Ireland, the QAM has been awarded to Bryan Snoddy, Assistant Director of Operations and NIAS, who has been with the Service for over 38 years.
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.
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.