Ambulance staff recognised for going above and beyond

Achievements honoured at annual awards ceremony

Some of the North East’s most caring and dedicated people were honoured at a regional awards ceremony.

Inspiring stories of compassion, care and dedication to duty were celebrated at the North East Ambulance Service’s (NEAS) Beyond the Call of Duty Awards, held at The Boiler Shop, Newcastle.

Sponsored by Ward Hadaway, the annual awards, which are now in their seventh year, recognise the outstanding contribution of NEAS employees.

The 12 award categories cover all aspects of the Trust’s service provision from emergency care to patient transport and judges had a tough time picking the best of more than 270 entries.

The night also incorporated the Trust’s long service awards, recognising 79 employees who have a combined 1,985 years’ service with the Trust. Two of them, Stephen Potts and Peter Rhodes, were also presented with a special award in recognition of their 40 years’ service.

NEAS Chief Executive Yvonne Ormston said: “Our employees make a difference, day in, day out and it’s important for us to take the time to recognise the amazing work of the truly remarkable team here at the North East Ambulance Service.

“Although we can only recognise a handful of those at our Beyond the Call of Duty Awards, we should not forget everyone who works for the emergency services regularly puts the lives of the community before their own. Each of our winners truly embodies the Trust’s values of responding to the needs of individuals and treating patients and colleagues with compassion, care, dignity and respect. This makes recognising the years of dedication of our employees that are devoted to the service, even more important.”

The final and most prestigious award, the Chairman's award, commends a stand out nominee for their significant contribution to NEAS.

Chair of NEAS, Peter Strachen said, “Amongst the entries I have found the very heart of our Trust in the very special people we are proud to call our staff.  I feel very honored to be part of this extended family and it’s very obvious to me and the panel that the job people do every day is made better because of the pride and passion that the individuals who work for us contribute. 

“The amount of credit the winner, David Morgan, has received this year from colleagues was outstanding and is someone who created formidable, ground breaking work for NEAS by taking an idea he had in the early part of his career and making it a reality. His goal was to create a system that could improve outcomes for patients and help frontline staff with their personal development and the quality of care they give and as a result, we are now rolling out the CARE system, which has won its own award in our innovation category.

“The phenomenal efforts he has invested personally and professionally and his general attitude to work has been driven by his own determination and the benefits he could generate for patient care.”

The valuable support from Ward Hadaway for the staff awards helps to create a successful evening of celebration.

Nicola Richardson, partner in the healthcare team at law firm Ward Hadaway, said: “We work closely with the team at North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust so we know what tremendous work the staff at the Trust carry out every day of the year, often in very challenging situations.

“Sponsoring the staff awards is a great way for us to acknowledge how people at the Trust go above and beyond to deliver first class healthcare services when they are needed most to thousands of people right across the North East. The awards never fail to highlight inspiring acts of dedication and I am sure that this year will prove to be no exception.”

The public nomination category in particular gives members of the public the opportunity to thank staff for their support and highlights the invaluable work that NEAS staff complete.

One patient showed their appreciation in a public nomination for employee Robert Hayton-Walker after he twice went to their aid. She said, “He was so caring and compassionate and he really took the time to listen to me when I was at rock bottom. Rob saved me from myself on those occasions and gave me hope, motivation and determination to look to the future. I have a more positive outlook on life now because of Rob and he inspired me to since become a paramedic for NEAS. I cannot thank Rob enough for what he has done for me and I am forever in his debt.”

Many of the front line workers at NEAS have worked for the organisation for a long time, witnessing first-hand the changes in the industry and organisation as well the development of patient care.

A recent ceremony that also commended NEAS staff was the Queen’s Medal that honoured long service of more than 20 years for frontline workers. The service took place on Tuesday 18 September and celebrated the illustrious career of NEAS employees, who were presented with their Royal Mint by Her Majesty’s representative the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Mrs Susan Margaret Winfield OBE DL.

The Queen’s Medal was issued under Royal Warrant in July 1995 and was awarded to frontline respondents Martin Fletcher, Steve Roebuck, David Vaughan, Michael Vockings, Jane Wade and Mark Wells who have a combined service of over 100 years for the organisation.

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