2019 winners

Outstanding Emergency Care sponsored by Wardhadaway

David Hare

David was nominated for his sole management of a complex road traffic collision with 2 traumatically injured patients for 30 minutes until back up arrived


Outstanding Scheduled Patient Transport sponsored by Wardhadaway

Sophie Bridgewater

Returning back to station after her shift had ended, Sophie successfully persuaded a suicidal patient on the Tyne Bridge to seek treatment


Outstanding Call Taking sponsored by Wardhadaway

Joseph Phillips

111 health advisor Joseph joined our service in his first employment last year and has far exceeded his own expectations, overcoming personal challenges, delivering excellent patient care and now progressing to take 999 calls


Outstanding Dispatch sponsored by Wardhadaway 

Yellow Team

In the run up to Christmas when winter pressures were at their peak, a team of dispatchers worked incredibly together to ensure the best service for patients involved in a number of traumatic incidents, from a fatal road traffic collision and a 5 year old cardiac arrest, to the delivery of a baby whose mother was in cardiac arrest


Outstanding Support Services sponsored by Wardhadaway

Laura Jordon

Laura is recognised for her compassionate and professional approach to supporting frontline staff with their individual rotas, something which makes a real difference to employees, particularly during an unsettling period of change


Team of the year sponsored by Working Time Solutions

Training Team

Despite a challenging 2 year period of change, the training team are recognised for ensuring the continued delivery of statutory and continued professional development of our workforce, which has ensured the quality of our service at the frontline and the growth of the clinical workforce we need to meet current demands


Excellent patient care sponsored by Working Time Solutions

Michael Willis

This award was made using a number of criteria based on individual performance. 

Innovation and Change sponsored by Working Time Solutions

Chris Chalmers, Ruth Corbett, Julie Cowell, Steve Jones, Wayne McKay & Paul Mills

Lead by Clinical Operations Manager Ruth Corbett, this team has implemented a community paramedic trial in Berwick, which is helping to avoid hospital admissions, ring-fence resources for Category 1 patients to the area, treat more people at home and support the local minor injuries unit and GPs, all of which is making a real difference in the area


Student of the year sponsored by GMB/UNISON

Rebecca Wells   

Proud ambulance care assistant apprentice Rebecca has been nominated for her optimistic outlook and her motivation to improve the wellbeing of others, in particular her patients, with whom she has a great rapport


Mentor of the year sponsored by GMB/UNISON

Sarah Thorpe

Sarah is dedicated to mentoring students on top her tough role as a paramedic, teaching excellent people skills and involving her students at every turn.  In the words of Sarah’s mentee, ‘If every student had a Sarah, there would be no panicked students’


Leading by example sponsored by Cleric

Claire Smith

Emergency operations centre team leader Claire is nominated for having firmly established herself as an inspirational leader who is always fair, thrives on a professional work ethic and invests heavily in developing staff who have gone on to develop their skills and in some cases, secure promotions


Patients’ choice sponsored by Cleric

Phil Blance, Glen Chapman, Sheila McLachlan, David Nergaard & Jack Young

This team was nominated by the mother of a young woman they attended who died suddenly from a blood clot on her lung.  She wanted dearly to thank recognise them for their compassion and care and the comfort she takes from knowing her daughter was surrounded by a calm, caring medical team in her final minutes which enabled her to have a peaceful ending without suffering 


Compassion, respect and inclusion sponsored by WAS

Phil Blance

Phil is nominated by Gateshead Hatzola Co-ordinator for his dedication to working with the Jewish community, for ensuring that they receive a culturally sensitive service and for forging a relationship built on compassion, respect and inclusion that is improving patient care.


Volunteer of the year sponsored by WAS

Ian Garrett

Volunteer community first responder for 18 years, Ian Garrett from Durham has volunteered over 12,000 hours and attended to 1000 patients during his time.  Having attended a cardiac arrest at Durham University where he provided crucial lifesaving life-saving CPR, he made it his personal mission to contact the University to encourage them to list all 20 defibrillators on campus so they can be accessed by the public


Unsung Hero sponsored by WAS

Sulina Helmsley

Intraday analyst Sulina received 3 nominations for her tireless work ethic and commitment to ensure that health advisors and clinicians are scheduled at the right time to deliver the best care we can to patients from the emergency operations centre


Chairman’s Award sponsored by Wardhadaway

Gerardine Hope

On receiving her award earlier this week, our winner said she would only accept it, in her words, ‘on behalf of her bloody marvellous, fabulous, awesome and inspiring team’.

Funnily enough, her team say the same things about her.

Her dedication to those she’s responsible for is unmatched; she is often the first in and last out but always finds time to give advice, assistance and guidance when asked. 

Anyone who has heard Gerardine speak about her team will realise straight away the respect she has for them and the pride she takes from being their manager – in fact she often can’t do it without tearing up!

Since starting her career with us, the growth of her team and the number of calls they handle has probably doubled, or even tripled.  This alone is testament to her.

She joined North East Ambulance Service not long after we began the pilot for the single point of contact.  She was instrumental in helping us to win the contract for 111 again last year. 

In fact, as a key member of the panel presenting to commissioners, Gerardine was the only member of the team to score 100 percent because of her passion and dedication to patient safety and staff welfare.

Gerardine pioneered the forecasting of call patterns.  She introduced a workforce management structure to match staffing to demand, so that we can always anticipate how many people we need to answer callers in their hour of need.

As service manager for call handing in the Emergency Operations Centre, she now manages over 350 of our employees answering patients calling NHS111 and 999, over three sites.  The centre managed over 1.4 million calls last year. 

Her nominees referred to her as their rock.  Yet she refers to them as hers.

She describes her proudest moments as seeing the development of her team.

They describe her as having given them trust, sheer belief and a foundation from which to reach their potential.

It is clear that Gerardine’s leadership, enthusiasm and her visible care and compassion is infectious.

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