Posts

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex Executive Director Recognised IN Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021

Leigh Curtis, Executive Director of Service Delivery for life-saving charity Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS), has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021, receiving an MBE for services to the Air Ambulance Service particularly during COVID-19.

Leigh, who is a state registered paramedic, joined KSS in 2007 having worked previously for the NHS in frontline roles and as Executive Officer for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb).

During his time as Director of Operations and Executive Director of Service Delivery at KSS, Leigh has pioneered many innovations, helping the charity to reach many more critically ill patients and significantly contributing to improved outcomes.

In Spring 2013, Leigh led the KSS team who collaborated with the Service for Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) to enable blood to be carried on board KSS’s helicopters and response cars so that patients can receive a blood transfusion at the scene.

Leigh Curtis,
Executive Director of Service Delivery,
Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS)

KSS was the first Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) outside London to be able to carry blood and the initiative is saving lives.

Also in 2013, and having added a new night-capable aircraft to KSS, Leigh oversaw the introduction of night flying, making KSS the first 24/7 HEMS in the country.

Since this time, KSS has carried out over 6,250 missions at night.

Testament to the significant achievements of the KSS service and operating procedures, in March 2020 the charity became the first HEMS to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in all five of its inspection key lines of enquiry: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

This has been further evidenced in the charity’s response to the COVID6-19 pandemic. Leigh adapted the KSS service so that it has been able to operate safely 24/7 throughout — despite an inevitable increase in staff absence as a result of team members needing to self-isolate — and, working with the NHS and SECAmb, Leigh extended the charity’s role at the frontline enabling KSS to transfer 100 critically ill patients between Intensive Care Units across the KSS region.

Leigh Curtis MBE said: “I am deeply grateful to receive this Honour on behalf of KSS for services to the Air Ambulance Service particularly during Covid-19. I very much see this as an achievement for KSS as a whole.’

“The service we deliver each day is only made possible because of the tremendous work and efforts of everyone at Team KSS, including our Trustees, crews, support staff, fundraisers, our volunteers and of course our supporters. I cannot thank them all enough for all that they do for us and our patients.”

“Over the past year, we have all faced an unprecedented challenge, and I am immensely proud that we have not only continued to deliver our life-saving service 24/7 throughout but we have also extended our service.’

“In addition, we have continued our focus on pushing boundaries and setting new standards in life-saving pre-hospital emergency care through our research and collaborations, taking further steps towards realising our vision of an end to preventable loss of life from medical emergency.”

Dr Helen Bowcock, Chair of the KSS Board of Trustees, said: “Leigh’s contribution to the field of pre-hospital emergency medicine is exemplary and this Honour has been earned over the course of many years of tireless commitment and dedication to the needs of patients.’

“He deserves great credit for many important developments, most notably for the introduction of night flying, of carrying blood on board the aircraft and, more recently, for his astute leadership during the COVID crisis. I am delighted that he has been recognised in this way.”

David Welch, KSS CEO, said: “My sincere congratulations to Leigh for this incredibly well-deserved Honour. Leigh’s significant experience and expertise are crucial to ensuring KSS fulfils its purpose to save lives and to enable the best possible outcomes for our patients, and his caring, people-centred approach is valued by us all.”

“Not only is Leigh a wonderful asset and ambassador for our charity, he is a trusted authority in pre-hospital emergency care across the UK and beyond. On behalf of Team KSS, I would like to convey heartfelt thanks to Leigh for his hard work and years of service.”

Port Talbot Supermarket Staff Commended for Quick-Thinking Actions

Supermarket workers who came to the aid of a customer in cardiac arrest have been praised for their quick-thinking actions.

Staff at Tesco in Port Talbot gave CPR to a man who had collapsed in the car park and delivered two shocks using the store’s defibrillator before the arrival of an ambulance.

Colleagues also made a makeshift helipad to allow for the safe landing of the air ambulance.

Today, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive Jason Killens visited the store to extend a thank you for their efforts.

Members of staff from Port Talbot with Jason Killens, Chief Executive of WAST

Jason said: “Every second counts in a cardiac arrest, and the way that colleagues worked together to begin the chain of survival gave this patient the best possible chance

“They’re a shining example of what to do in this sort of scenario, and they should be really proud of their actions.”

A rapid response car, an emergency ambulance, and an air ambulance were dispatched to the Prior Street supermarket after the 999 call in October.

Community First Responder Ashley Page supported Paramedic Richard John in the rapid response car, which arrived within six minutes of the call.

Ashley, who is also an allocator in the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Carmarthen, said: “When we arrived, good quality CPR was in progress by store staff and an off-duty South Wales Police officer.’

“The store’s defibrillator had already given the patient two shocks, and staff had cleared an area for us to work on the patient and had also made a makeshift helipad.’

“Their collective efforts on that day gave the man a fighting chance, and made the ambulance crews’ job so much easier.”

Today, Chief Executive Jason Killens was joined by the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan, Joanna Jenkins, to present staff at the store with a commendation.

Joanna said: “What store staff and the off-duty South Wales Police officer achieved that day is very impressive.’

“CPR and the use of the store defibrillator, as well as the creation of a makeshift helipad, demonstrate that everything possible was done to assist the customer.’

“This commendation is richly deserved. Many congratulations.”

Store manager Mandy Walsh added: “I am incredibly proud of how our team responded to this emergency.’

“We have trained first-aiders in all our stores in case someone does become ill, but the way our whole store worked together to help this customer is a credit to the professionalism of every colleague involved.”

Capital Air Ambulance Receives CQC Approval And A Home Office License For Controlled Drugs

Capital Air Ambulance, a division of Pula Aviation Services Limited, has achieved two milestones during April.

It has been accredited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the practice of health and social care services in England and it has been awarded a controlled drugs license by the Home Office.

The CQC accreditation acknowledges Capital as providing the same care standards as achieved by the NHS in England and covers diagnostic and screening procedures, transport services, triage and medical advice provided remotely, treatment of disease, and disorder or injury.

Granted by the independent regulator of health and social care in England, the accreditation sets Capital’s air ambulance and ground ambulance services ahead by ensuring NHS-equivalent medical care standards are delivered.

Dr Rowan Hardy,
Medical Director,
Capital Air Ambulance Ltd.

The separate Home Office license granted to Capital approves the storage and handling procedures of controlled drugs that will be used by Capital’s medical teams during air and ground ambulance operations.

Dr. Rowan Hardy, Medical Director at Capital Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted that Capital has been able to demonstrate it meets the CQC’s fundamental standards of quality and safety and gained this approval alongside the Home Office license for controlled drugs.’

“With the approvals resulting from an examination of every aspect of our care, from medical equipment and medicines used to the qualifications and training of medical staff, this means our patients will receive the same standard of high-quality care as provided by the UK’s hospitals and other health care facilities.”