Queen’s Ambulance Medals announced Queen’s Birthday Honours List

The latest group of recipients of the prestigious Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for Distinguished Service were announced in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this morning (Saturday 14th June 2014).

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 as recently in 2012 and underlines how the dedication of ambulance staff now has the same level of Royal recognition as other members of the emergency services.

The number of nominations for a QAM 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 Department of Health.

Today’s two recipients for England are:

AndyNewtonProfessor Andy Newton QAM
Consultant Paramedic and Director of Clinical Operations; South East Coast Ambulance Service – SECAMB

Andy has been at the forefront of development and innovation in the Ambulance Service for more than thirty years, playing a major role in establishing the high reputation of Paramedics in their current pre-hospital role and has been a leader in practice, education and management in the profession.

He led the way in helping establish telephone triage in NHS ambulance services  which many believe directly led to lives being saved across the United Kingdom. His commitment to education has been unparalleled and instrumental in the growth of programmes across the UK and led to the formation of the first Paramedic degree course at the University of Hertfordshire.

A founder of the College of Paramedics, he is currently their council chair and is also a visiting professor at the University of Surrey.

Andy was one of the first group of ambulance staff to be trained as paramedics in the country; he was one of the first to fly with the London Helicopter Medical Service and became the first Consultant Paramedic in the country with SECAMB.

But it was his vision of the development of paramedic services that came through close links with the Emergency Medical Services in the United States that has inspired his involvement in the advancement of the paramedic profession.

His passionate interest in the more scientific methods evolving in ambulance services has driven him into working in the higher education sector taking part in teaching, curriculum development, consultancy and research becoming a founder member of the Higher Education Ambulance Development committee and at the Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committee.

He has been involved in many innovative practices including the development of Paramedic Practitioners and Critical Care Paramedics.

He now mixes his senior academic role with his management position as Executive Paramedic Director with SECAMB, with responsibilities for Professional Standards and Innovation and remains clinically active.


CliffordWardClifford (Cliff) Ward QAM
Events Manager, East Midlands Ambulance Service  (EMAS)

Cliff has worked in the ambulance service for over 40 years.  Whilst his current role is to manage the EMAS Events Team and negotiate contracts with high profile sport & music event organisations, this does not stop him from fully immersing himself in all things EMAS and supporting colleagues where he can in other areas of EMAS work – often going above and beyond the call of duty.

Cliff is an enthusiastic ambulance service supporter, proud of what he and his colleagues do, and interested in what’s going on and therefore makes an effort to be informed and understand what change is on the horizon and why.

Whilst not part of his role, Community Engagement & Education is something Cliff is passionate about.  Cliff supports Road Safety Partnership events; public fetes; events organised for people with learning disabilities and other disability groups. He is an advocate of Community Engagement, supporting and encouraging his and other teams to be involved, supporting community events and providing awareness of the ambulance service in everything he does.

Cliff supports the local division by attending Silver cells when managing exceptional incidents thus allowing divisional managers the capacity to provide better strategic support whilst managing the incident

Cliff will take on extra on-call duties for divisional management without hesitation and his willingness to help is exceptional.

His attendance record is exemplary. Even after major surgery last year and at times whilst in discomfort and pain, Cliff could be seen (and heard!) hobbling along the corridors on crutches – not able to provide operational support out on the road, but able to offer support in any other way he could.

The two 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.

Martin Flaherty OBE, Managing Director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) said:

The Queen’s Ambulance Medal serves to formally recognise the hard work and dedication of a very select band of ambulance sector professionals at the highest level, and we are immensely proud of this year’s recipients. ”


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