It’s the start of 2024 and GWAAC has already had something to celebrate! Advanced Practitioner in Critical Care (ACP-CC), Vicki Brown, has received the King’s Ambulance Service Medal in the New Year Honours.
About the King’s Ambulance Service Medal?
The King’s Ambulance Service Medal is awarded to members of the NHS Ambulance Service (including air ambulances) for distinguished service marked by exceptional ability, merit and conduct. ACP-CC Vicki can now add the letters “KAM” to the ever-increasing post-nominals after her name.
Vicki has been a paramedic for nearly 20 years and joined GWAAC in 2012. In that time she has received much recognition for her achievements and dedication to GWAAC and paramedicine. She has won many awards, but it’s never something that she seeks; she simply wants to provide exceptional pre-hospital care to her patients and help her colleagues be the best paramedics they can be.
Vicki was one of four recipients of the King’s Ambulance Service Medal this year; she said, “I feel very honoured and humbled to receive this award. I am proud to be a paramedic and will continue to work to progress the profession as best I can.” She collects her award later in the year.
“A superb role model and inspirational frontline clinical leader”
Vicki has worked tirelessly to enhance patient care for the critically ill and injured in GWAAC’s region (Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and parts of Wiltshire) and nationally. She has:
- Developed a system so that the crew can carry and administer blood allowing patients to receive blood products earlier in their treatment if needed
- Initiated the development of pre-hospital ultrasound at GWAAC. This means that clinicians have a tool to help diagnose conditions and injuries to enable appropriate management and treatment of patients
- Recently obtained the Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care and is accredited with the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care as a consultant practitioner in pre-hospital emergency medicine. Vicki is the first person from a purely paramedic background to achieve this status. She is carving a career pathway for future paramedics to follow in her footsteps
- Spearheaded a two-year project with Critical Care Doctor Dr Matt, to develop a bespoke modular kit bag system containing a series of pouches with everything required for a task in one place. The new modular approach makes the kit bags easier to use and saves time both on scene and during replenishment, ultimately improving the way GWAAC cares for its patients
- Worked tirelessly to not only promote quality critical care at a local level (from the delivery of clinical care on scene through to mentoring and supporting GWAAC’s trainee Specialist Paramedics and PHEM trainees) but she virtually singlehandedly organises the annual GWAAC symposium
- Been chosen to chair a main subgroup of NHS England’s Task and Finish Working Group to improve the clinical response to major incidents. The group was set up following the recommendations of the Manchester Arena Inquiry and Vicki was chosen because of her proven track record in leading clinical development within a robust governance framework. She has done this in addition to her work with GWAAC.
Vicki was nominated for the King’s Ambulance Service Medal by her colleague, Critical Care Doctor Dr Philip Cowburn MBE. Dr Phil is also the Medical Director at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT). He said, “Vicki has dedicated her career to advancing paramedic practice and delivering improved prehospital patient care. She remains an example to all, acting as a superb role model and inspirational frontline clinical leader.”
What’s next for Vicki?
Vicki has achieved so much already, both influencing and opening up opportunities for the paramedics of the future.
Operations Officer, Tim Ross-Smith summarises how we all feel about Vicki: “Everyone at GWAAC is hugely proud of Vicki and everything she has achieved in her career. She is rightly deserving of this honour and we couldn’t be happier for her.”
Her ambitions for the future are more of the same: ‘To continue progressing paramedic practice.’ There is no doubt that she will!
Learn more about what Vicki and the crew do at GWAAC: https://greatwesternairambulance.com/what-we-do/