NHS Champions

A London Ambulance Service duty station officer was named as this year’s NHS Champion on 18 January, at a champagne ceremony held at the Savoy Hotel.

Kevin Marshall was nominated by Zach Steels, 11, who is the main carer for his mother, Gina, who suffers from five serious forms of epilepsy.

Thousands of nominations were received for the awards which are run by the Evening Standard, in conjunction with the King’s Fund and ITV1’s London Tonight, to salute the contribution of health service workers in the capital.

Zach nominated Kevin for his work in developing a specific patient protocol for Gina, who is allergic to anti-convulsive drugs. Kevin has ensured that 999 calls from the family home flag-up the crucial information about her allergies and inform crews that Zach is her carer.

Kevin also drew up a treatment protocol for Gina, which she carries around with her at all times, so if Zach is not around, crews are made aware of her specific medical needs.

Zach said: “Kevin has made sure ambulance crews listen to me. Now when Mum is ill I can call for help safely and know she will be all right.”

Kevin was thrilled to win the award, he said: “I feel very honoured, particularly as I never imagined I would win. It makes me very proud that Zach and Gina went to the trouble of nominating me. I hope the fact I won the award will help further the cause of child carers such as Zach who are the true champions everyday.”

Kevin received a £5,000 prize for winning the Ambulance Crew category of the awards. He plans to donate at least half of the money to charities which help epileptics and child carers.

Service runner-up, Emergency Medical Technician Ian Stuart-Maitland was nominated by Emergency Planning Manager, Jonathan Edmondson, for his part in responding to four teenage girls who had been struck by lightning in Hyde Park. Ian battled torrential rain and further lightning strikes with Trainee Emergency Medical Technician Rob Ray to resuscitate a 15-year-old girl who was not breathing. All four girls went on to make good recoveries in hospital.

Jonathan said: “The conditions were appalling and the equipment Ian was carrying could have acted as a lightning conductor. We teach our staff to think of their own safety all the time, yet Ian risked his life to save the patient’s.

Ian said: “It is an honour to be short listed from so many nominations. What happened that day was a once-in-a-lifetime event and the closest to my heart of all the calls I have been involved with. I was overwhelmed to hear she was making a good recovery—that was the best reward of all.”

Kevin and Ian received their awards from Kwame Kwei-Armah, ‘Casualty’ actor and playwright. Other award-winners and their respective categories included a nurse, doctor, porter and physiotherapist.

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