Shropshire ambulance staff honoured for 'tireless' work during pandemic

Six ambulance workers have been honoured with awards by Shropshire's outgoing High Sheriff for their 'tireless' work during the pandemic.

Former High Sheriff of Shropshire Dean Harris
Former High Sheriff of Shropshire Dean Harris

The West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff from Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have been hailed for 'providing excellent patient care to people in the county during their hour of need'.

Each have received certificates from Dean Harris, who served as the High Sheriff over the past year.

Awards for mentor of the year, student of the year and outstanding contribution have been bestowed on staff at Donnington and Shrewsbury ambulance hubs.

Mrs Harris, said: “We all know it’s been an incredibly challenging year, but even aside from the complications of a pandemic, WMAS does a fantastic job.

"I’d like to congratulate the winners on their awards success, and I am delighted that there will now be an annual event supported by future High Sheriffs in Shropshire.”

From the Donnington hub, the outstanding contribution award went to hospital ambulance liaison officer Chris Phillips, who has been praised for going 'above and beyond' in supporting both crews and hospital staff to keep patients safe.

Steve O’Boyle was given the mentor of the year award.

He has used his past experiences working on the mental health car to produce and deliver a training package for staff to help them feel more confident in dealing with a range of complex mental health issues.

Student of the year went to Katie Putwain, who rose to the challenge of the pandemic and took on the role of ambulance care assistant while the service was under a great deal of pressure.

At the Shrewsbury hub, vehicle preparation operative Heather Coghlan was given the outstanding contribution award.

She is responsible for ensuring the ambulances are stocked, cleaned and made ready for each crew.

Since the pandemic started, Heather has been flexible in changing her shifts at short notice, coming in for additional hours to help support the team and has taken on extra responsibilities.

Tom Hillidge was also named mentor of the year.

The mentor of the year award went to Tom Hillidge at Shrewsbury ambulance hub

As a clinical team mentor, he nurtures new staff and ensures they are competent and confident in their role.

He has been praised for going the 'extra mile' in assisting staff and has organised trauma days for clinical staff to attend to improve their skills.

Student of the year went to Joe Edwards, who was in his third year at university when the pandemic struck.

As part of the trust’s organisational plans to deal with the pandemic, all students were asked if they would be willing to work for WMAS as ambulance care assistants to ensure there were as many resources as possible to treat patients.

He joined the Shrewsbury hub in March last year.

Chief executive of WMAS, Anthony Marsh said: “I am delighted that the High Sheriff has instigated these annual awards, recognising the work of our staff.

"As Mrs Harris says, the last year has been one like no other.

“As you can see from the citations, each of these six staff have worked tirelessly to make a difference, all contributing in their own way to saving lives and providing excellent patient care to the people of Shropshire in their hour of need.

“I cannot thank Mrs Harris enough for setting these awards up as an annual event, something which will be warmly welcomed by all of our staff in the county.”

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