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Deputy Director of Clinical Care recognised in Queen’s New Year’s Honours

Adrian South, Deputy Director of Clinical Care for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2022. 

Adrian (pictured) has been awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal for distinguished service. 

Adrian lives in Chard, Somerset, having grown up in Dorchester, Dorset. He graduated as one of the first degree Paramedics in the UK from the University of Hertfordshire in 2002. After working as a front line Paramedic at Poole Ambulance Station Dorset, he was appointed to the post of Clinical Effectiveness Manager in 2004. Adrian has been the Deputy Director of Clinical Care for SWASFT since 2010. 

His role has been part of a team focusing on developing the care that the Trust’s clinicians can deliver to patients. Over the course of his career, he has been instrumental in the move of the Paramedic profession from conveying almost everyone to hospital, to managing around half of patients on-scene. Adrian has worked on a range of developments including: 

  • Developing some of the first pathways for patients to be taken directly to specialist centres to treat heart attacks and strokes.
  • Leading the ambulance developments as part of the major trauma network launch.
  • Introducing improved pain relief for patients, particularly children.
  • Many projects have been the first within UK ambulance services, including medicines for asthma, pathways for transient ischaemic attacks, and a drug which reduces deaths in patients who experience significant bleeding.
  • Introducing an app to enable staff to have easy access to clinical guidelines.
  • Chairing the Trust’s Clinical Group, which has helped develop and approve a wide range of clinical developments. 

Adrian continues to show a real drive to improve patient care, and to promote the importance of research and audit within the NHS. He is often heard talking about the importance of making calm, well thought through decisions, based wherever possible on robust data. He was the SWASFT Principle Investigator for the Airways2 pre-hospital airway management study, and the Right2 GTN in stroke study. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of Adrian’s work moved to infection prevention and control. He provided senior leadership to a range of projects, including the introduction of improved PPE and the launch of the staff vaccination programme. 

Adrian says: "I was taken aback to find myself on the New Year’s Honor’s list for the Queen's Ambulance Service Medal.

"I’m lucky to work with a fantastic team, ranging from clinicians who work on new pathways, to staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes to learn from incidents which don’t go as well as we’d like.

"My role is there to constantly focus on the care we provide to our patients, and to support developments which improve that care. In a way, I help provide a toolkit of guidelines and interventions.

"However, it’s our clinicians who then take that toolkit, and use it to deliver care to our patients. They’ve worked tirelessly delivering care throughout the pandemic and they are the ones who really deserve an award. 

“My work on infection and prevention and control at the start of the pandemic was probably the biggest challenge I’ve faced. There were so many unknowns, it was a scary new world, and we had to make decisions every day on how we cared for patients, and how we protected our staff. To me they were not ‘staff’, they were colleagues and friends, and wanted to do all that I could to protect them.

"When I look back on the early days, I’m immensely proud of how the whole team came together to ensure that colleagues were provided with the best access to PPE and clinical guidance that we could develop.”

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South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/SWASC.