Our Medical Director, doctor Syed was named Doctor of the Year at the Association of Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence. Dr Syed won the award for leading the introduction of medical governance within Thames Valley Police.

Lynn Cleaver, First Aid Training Lead for Thames Valley Police explains, “It is my absolute pleasure and honour to have nominated Dr Syed for this award, because it is thanks to his guidance and support, his wisdom, leadership and selfless dedication, that Thames Valley Police (TVP) and Hampshire Constabulary are able to provide the very best outcome for patient’s whilst in our care”.

She went on to say, “Providing lifesaving first aid is a critical part of the role of police officers. Indeed, the first rule of policing is to protect and save life. Not only are police officers likely to be the first responder to a medical emergency but they might also be required to administer first aid”.

Police Officers are frequently required to administer first aid in extreme and challenging environments. It is vitally important that they are skilled and confident in their role and abilities. Although it is appreciated that police officers are not ‘medical professionals’, they are still profoundly involved in the medical care of colleagues and the public.

Thanks to the support and guidance of doctor Syed, who also introduced a similar project to the Metropolitan Police; TVP have established appropriate medical governance. This encompasses all aspects of the policy, training and equipment given to officers, and means that police officers can provide both basic and enhanced First Aid care.

Doctor Syed has helped to make a significant difference to improving the standard of care police officers in our region are able to give in a medical emergency. A few examples include; placing AEDs and resuscitation equipment onto police vehicles, equipping and training Specialist Unit medics including Counter Terrorism Officers in enhanced bleeding control, and management of causalities in different environments.

An example of the excellent standard of care, now provided by TVP officers was seen following a helicopter crash at Wycombe Air Park in May 2017. TVP were first on scene and found three patients, one of which was in cardiac arrest, with a bystander who had started CPR. Police officers took over and led the resuscitation effort, working alongside the Fire service. Police officers were also able to lend support to personnel from South Central Ambulance Service in securing and clearing the airway under supervision.

Thanks to the actions of the attending police officers and the joined up team work of the emergency services, Thames Valley Air Ambulance was able to further stabilise the patient’s condition to prepare them for the flight to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.

Amanda McLean, CEO of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, said: “We put huge emphasis on team work and collaboration to achieve the very best for patient care. We are also committed to the development of enhancing the delivery of Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine. I am extremely proud that doctor Syed has won this award. It is very well deserved”.

Doctor Syed commented, “I am truly humbled to have been nominated by colleagues in the police service and it is an incredible feeling to have won. I am deeply passionate about achieving gold standard patient care which is at the heart of my motivation”.