Forth Valley First Responders Win Top Health Award

 Friday 3 November 2017

The Forth Valley First Responders have been recognised at the annual Scottish Health Awards, winning the prestigious Volunteer Award.

The Volunteer Award is for an individual, group or team who give their time freely to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients, carers and service users of the NHS in Scotland.

The Forth Valley First Responders team comprises of 17 regular volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds who provide vital care and support to patients and their families throughout Forth Valley following serious or immediately life-threatening incidents. They are also involved in CPR training and fundraising activities to support their scheme.

The Service recently made changes to the training programme to enhance the clinical skills of first responders to positively impact on patient outcomes. Communities with the right equipment and skills are the most resilient and can help save lives in the crucial early minutes before an ambulance arrives.

Murray McEwan, Scottish Ambulance Service National Community Resilience Manager and co-ordinator of the 143 first responder schemes across Scotland, said, “This is a great achievement for the Forth Valley First Responders and it is wonderful to see their hard work and dedication recognised at the Scottish Health Awards. Community first responder schemes are a vital part of the Service and help us to save many lives across Scotland by providing support in the crucial early minutes before an ambulance arrives.”

Pauline Howie, Scottish Ambulance Service Chief Executive said, "I am delighted to see a broad cross section of the Service recognised at the Scottish Health Awards this year. The delivery of high quality clinical care by our staff and volunteers is right at the heart of what we do. The fact that we are saving more lives than ever before, treating more patients at home where they want to be cared for, and improving staff experience, in the context of rising demand and patient expectations, is testament to the care, compassion and dedication of our staff and volunteers.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service was nominated in four categories and won in all of them at the ceremony in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange last night (Thursday 02 November).