Staff and volunteers celebrated in Service’s “VIP Awards”
This afternoon, London Ambulance Service staff and volunteers were celebrated in the second part of our annual ‘VIP Awards’ – in recognition of their outstanding contributions to our Trust values.
In a ceremony held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, but live-streamed to colleagues across the Service, winners and highly commended nominations were announced in categories for our values of Innovation, Collaboration, Professional and Respect and for adding huge value to their team and to our Service.
Today’s VIP Value Awards ceremony was the second of two virtual VIP awards ceremonies for the year: the first was held in November and categories such as Employee of the Year were awarded.
More than 125 nominations were made for the VIP Value Awards, celebrating and recognising nearly 500 staff and volunteers.
As part of the nominations, colleagues were also asked to link their nomination to a specific Trust value that they felt the person they were nominating showed within their work.
Our expert panel, made up of directors, non-executive directors and volunteers from the LAS Public and Patient’s Council selected their highly commended and overall winners in each category.
Our chief executive, Garrett Emmerson, said:
“I am very proud of everything that all our staff and volunteers do to care for our patients each and every day, wherever and whenever they need us.
“There are so many examples of inspirational work taking place across our Service and at our VIP Value Awards ceremony it was a pleasure to recognise and celebrate some of these efforts and achievements.
“Congratulations to all our award winners and to everyone who was nominated.”
The winners and highly commended nominees
The winners in the Collaborative category are the Service’s End of Life Care (EoLC) Coordinators, who were nominated in recognition of their contribution to improving the quality of care the Service provides to patients nearing their end of life and for supporting the wellbeing of their colleagues.
EoLC Coordinators work alongside our Macmillan Cancer Support-funded EoLC Programme team as part of the Service’s work to improve the care we give to patients nearing the end of life and develop staff and volunteers’ training and confidence and skills.
The Coordinators – made up of 20 staff across different ambulance stations and control rooms – undertake this role voluntarily, donating an average of 440 hours of their time to make improvements in their local areas.
After undertaking training and courses, the team have shared their learning and good practice with colleagues at a more local level – driving a cultural change.
They’ve also provided and sought useful feedback on technology used in EoLC – including Coordinate My Care, ensuring their colleagues are confident in accessing CMC in a timely manner Coordinators have also been building strong partnerships with stakeholders in their areas. These include hospices, charities, community services, GPs and Clinical Commissioning Group partners, resulting in two-way shared learning across organisations.
On the impact the Coordinator have had, The Macmillan EoLC Programme group said:
“The Coordinators, who are volunteering in their own time, have formed an effective network across the Service and as a team we would like to recognise their commitment and passion to improving EoLC for our patients and their families.”
Congratulations also to highly commended award winner for Collaborative Terry Hook, an Emergency Ambulance Crew our north-east sector.
The winner in the category of Innovative is Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (APP) in Critical Care, Ian Wilmer and his colleagues, for their work on the introduction of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) as a pre-hospital intervention, to introduce tPA to the Critical Care APP scope of practice.
The formation and breakdown of blood clots is an essential and normal part of human physiology and is vitally important to survival. In a small number of people, this normal process becomes deranged and they form abnormal clots.
Should these become lodged in the circulation of the lungs, termed a pulmonary embolism (PE), they can have very significant health implications for the patient.
If the PE is of a sufficient size, the obstruction to the circulation will be so large that the patient rapidly collapses and suffers a cardiac arrest. Approximately 5% of cardiac arrest attended by the LAS are believed to be caused by PE.
The only therapy shown to improve outcomes is the administration of clot-busting, or thrombolytic, drugs – of which tPA is one type. The earlier this is administered, the more likely the patient is to survive
Currently, tPA is only administered in hospital and so LAS crews are mandated to convey arrested patients, where PE is the suspected cause, to hospital with CPR on going.
With the complexities, dangers and time delays inherent in removing such patients from the scene to the ambulance and then conveying them with CPR on-going in London traffic, the patient rarely arrives at hospital within a time-frame in which tPA is likely to be effective.
Therefore, to offer the best chance of survival tPA, in reality, needs to be a pre-hospital intervention.
Ian conducted comprehensive literature reviews to identify relevant evidence and guidelines and authored a new Advanced Clinical Operating Procedure and a new Patient Group Directive.
In the nomination, Ian’s colleague Peter said:
“Introduction of tPA represents a very significant step forward in the way the Service manages some of its most extremely unwell patients. Ultimately, its introduction reflects the efforts of Ian and his colleagues and of an innovative and inspirational Medical Directorate, working together to deliver world class care for a world class city.”
Congratulations also to highly commended award winner for Innovative, Luke Rogerson, a Data Scientist in our Forecast and Planning team.
The winner in the Professional category is Flavia Pimblett, a Performance Manager (Dispatch) working in C Watch in our control room.
Flavia has worked for the Service for 12 years and before beginning her current role worked as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and Allocator – also supporting and training numerous colleagues.
Flavia was nominated by her Watch Manager, Andy, who said:
“Since successfully gaining the role of Performance Manager, Flavia has come into her own, displaying qualities, understanding and maturity we would like to see in all managers.
“Flavia is fully supportive of her staff and their welfare is of upmost importance. She is able to make decisions autonomously but has the knowledge to know when to ask for advice. Flavia leads by example and will ensure she has a thorough knowledge of policies and procedures to allow herself to be a resource for her staff.
“Flavia has a drive, passion and ambition and is incredibly professional and hard working. She is innovative, creative and challenges the status quo to better understand challenges.”
Congratulations also to our three highly commended award winners for Professional:
- The London Ambulance Service Ceremonial Unit
- Ian Bates, from our Non Emergency Transport Service
- Our Emergency Operations Centre Quality Assurance team
The winner of the Respectful category is volunteer ‘Emergency Responder’ (ER) Tony Ogden.
Our Emergency Responders are LAS-trained volunteers who respond to 999 calls in uniform and in our liveried vehicles, on blue lights and sirens.
One of Tony’s fellow ERs, John, who nominated Tony, said:
“Tony is one the most compassionate, caring and dedicated Emergency Responders at the Service.
“He has been an ER for a number of years now and dedicates a huge number of hours to the scheme. Giving up most of his Friday and Saturday nights, Tony is committed to providing the very best patient care possible, at a time in the week where our Service is most stretched.
“When Tony is with patients he is reassuring and incredibly kind, being there for people in their time of desperation. He always goes above and beyond for patients and is empathetic whatever the circumstances.
“As well as being incredibly caring for patients he is one of the most supportive ERs in the group. He gives up his time to help out at training and provides mentoring and guidance to new ERs, helping them settle into the scheme. Tony never judges and supports people of all backgrounds and character.”
Congratulations also to highly commended award winner for Respectful, Howard Saltman, a paramedic in our north central sector.