The UK Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) presented the first Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence at its National Conference 2013, held on 18 November in London. The awards, which are independently judged, received a significant number of nominations from air ambulance operations across the UK, said the AAA. Winners included medics and aircrew; a volunteer; a charity worker and a staff employee.
The awards ceremony was hosted by television presenter Louise Minchin and doctor/comedian Dr Phil Hammond. Headline winners were London Air Ambulance (LAA), which received four awards including Pilot of the Year award, Doctor of the Year, Paramedic of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award (presented to Dr Gareth Davies).
In the other categories, top honours went to Poppy Young as Outstanding Young Person and Janice Flower as Charity Staff Member, both from from Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. Honours also went to volunteer Jenny Ashman for her fundraising efforts over a 20-year period for Midlands Air Ambulance. Devon Air Ambulance took the Campaign of the Year award, while the Special Incident award was presented to the aircrew from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.
Chairman of the judging panel, Member of Parliament Guy Opperman, said: “It was a wonderful night, with each and every one of our air ambulance recipients striving to set the highest possible standards of excellence in the sector. It has been an honour to be involved with such an inspirational group of people.”
The Awards are open to all air ambulance operations within the UK and nominations were made by patients, staff, management and the general public. The AAA said that with over 50 nominations across the nine open categories, the shortlisted nominees and winners should be rightly proud of their achievement with their respective air ambulance operation.
Bill Sivewright, AAA chairman, commented: “Celebration of success, innovation and commitment of staff and volunteers is a central strategy of the Association, and these Awards are a clear demonstration of the strategy in action. It is intended that they will encourage competition and best practice across all disciplines of pre-hospital care and deliver real improvements in patient outcomes. So, every winner should be immensely proud of their success this year as trailblazer.”
The 2014 awards ceremony will take place on the 17 November, with nominations being taken via www.aoaa.org.uk/aaae from the 1 January until 1 September.
The full list of winners:
AAA Chairman’s Award Clive Dickin, national director, AAA
Outstanding Young Person Award Poppy Young, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
Charity Staff Member of the Year Janice Flower, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
Air Ambulance Paramedic of the Year Graham Chalk, London’s Air Ambulance
Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year Dr Anne Weaver, London’s Air Ambulance
Air Ambulance Pilot of the Year Captain Neil Jeffers, London’s Air Ambulance
Air Ambulance Campaign of the Year Devon Air Ambulance for ‘Devon Air Ambulance on Tour’
Charity Volunteer of the Year Jenny Ashman, Midlands Air Ambulance
Special Incident Award Captain Max Hoskins; Paramedic Greg Peacock; Paramedic Steve Freeman, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
Lifetime Achievement Award Dr Gareth Davies, London Air Ambulance