Recognition for West of Scotland Ambulance Staff

 Thursday 3 October 2013

An IT specialist based in the Cardonald 999 Ambulance Control centre, who has dedicated his 40 year career to developing and maintaining critical life saving systems, has been recognised amongst the winners of this year’s ambulance service staff awards for the West of Scotland.

Systems Support Specialist Alan Dunn, who has dedicated 40 years of his career to the Scottish Ambulance Service, won the Staff Member of the Year award after nominations from staff and managers in various departments.  He has been a key exponent of many complex technology projects, including the transfer of the control room from Paisley to Cardonald and more recently, the new Patient Transport Service direct booking system. Staff rely on his expertise on a daily basis and one colleague summed up his commitment when he said, “his phone doesn’t go unanswered and he’s always willing to help.” Alan will retire later this year.

The Chief Executive’s Special Award went to a Paramedic Team Leader on Islay who has, often in his own time, made a huge contribution to the development of clinical skills for SAS and other NHS staff on the island.  Joe Hughes hosted the Mobile Skills Unit facility that provided NHS staff with access to the development and upkeep of clinical skills. He also developed a multi agency exercise on the island with over 30 participants from NHS GP’s and emergency doctors, Coastguard and RNLI to provide clinical skills training and development. Joe’s role in the community is invaluable and his dedication is exemplary.

Three paramedics who saved the life of a three year old girl in cardiac arrest were recognised with the Team of the Year award.  In July this year Andrew Houston was first on scene in a Paramedic Response Unit to treat Casey Martin within 5 minutes  of the 999 call.  Just 2 minutes later, paramedics Julie Granger and June Maxwell arrived to back him up.  They transferred Casey to the specialist team in Yorkhill in a 5 minute journey across the city, delivering intensive treatment on the way. Andrew, June and Julie faced a challenging situation and worked together using all their experience, skills and training to save Casey’s life.

The Scottish Ambulance Service Values award was presented to Karen Bell, an Area Service Manager who has played a leading role in the successful delivery of a complex project to transform the Patient Transport Service.  Karen has worked tirelessly in the West Ambulance Control Centre to integrate new people and systems for the benefit of patients. She has always supported staff in skills development and training, ensuring that everyone works closely together as a team.

Fiona Laing, the Coordinator for North Arran First Responder Group, won the Working Together for Better Patient Care.  Fiona is the driving force behind the team, which has been responding to patients for 10 years in two groups that cover Lochranza and Pirnmill areas.  Fiona has always worked selflessly to encourage and help to train members of the group, which provided cover 24/7. In addition to this, Fiona has been fundraising to buy public access defibrillators, with 5 bought so far and more in the pipeline.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“Now in its third year, our awards programme recognises the professionalism and commitment of our staff, many of whom go beyond the normal call of duty.  All of the entrants have been nominated by their peers, who value the dedication and commitment to patient care that is displayed on a daily basis. Our staff and volunteers are very modest about the incredible care that they provide for patients and this event is a reminder of the difference that they make to patients’ lives. They are an absolute credit to the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Scotland. "