Congratulations Margaret Barclay – New Year’s Honours list with the Queen’s Ambulance Medal.

Congratulations to Margaret Barclay who has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list with the Queen’s Ambulance Medal.
Margaret joined the ambulance service in January 1986 as the first full time female member of staff in Northern Ireland.
Margaret started on the Patient Care Service, bringing to patients, who had been entrusted to her care, an empathy and professionalism which remain the hallmark of Margaret’s approach to all she does today. In those early days, Margaret often went that extra mile by working well beyond her finishing time to ensure that patients, who may have been delayed at clinics, got home safely.
She then moved on to become the first female on the Emergency Medical Technician course. The course gave her more skills to add to those which come naturally to her and prepare her for the pre-hospital emergency field.
Having blazed the trail as the first female, Margaret was always there as mentor and go-to colleague for other females who were now joining the service. Her enthusiasm and selfless attitudes became inspirational to all who worked with her – including her male colleagues.
She moved up the ranks to become a Station Supervisor where she was given the opportunity to shape, in the most positive of ways, the careers of the many new recruits for whom she became responsible.
Providing adequate cover to meet increasing demand is a real issue for ambulance services. It is now Margaret’s role to oversee this challenging task – and as usual she goes at it with everything she has. Uppermost in her mind is ensuring that the needs of patients and staff are met.
Margaret has given more than 34 years exceptional service to the ambulance service and the community.
If you ever wonder if there exists a person who is universally liked, loved, respected and valued, just look at Margaret Barclay.
Margaret is a most worthy recipient of the Queen’s Ambukance Medal. Congratulations Margaret.
Take a bow.

Good Relations week 2020

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust is committed to the promotion of good relations amongst people of different religious belief, race or political opinion.

During Good Relations week 2020, the 6 HSC Trusts engaged online with colleagues from the Community Relations Council, the Equality Commission and service users and carers, HSC staff and Trade Unions, local Council representatives, the Patient and Client Council, the Business Services Organisation, the Public Health Agency and representative organisations to-produce a consistent, clear and unequivocal statement for the HSC Sector to outline our pledge to promote good relations amongst everyone – our patients, service users, carers, visitors and staff.

Consensus was reached on the following statement and this has since been approved by our respective Executive Teams.  This will be prominently displayed throughout HSC facilities in Northern Ireland to remind everyone of this important commitment.

We recognise that to give effect to this statement, it is important that it is supported by key meaningful actions to be taken forward collectively at both regional and local levels to ensure consistency of approach.

We look forward to working with you to continue in our work to promote good relations and ensure that everyone is treated fairly with respect and dignity across all of our services and in all of our facilities.

A Star is Born

Can you remember what your first day at work was like? For most people it will just slip into a mix of days to be remembered and days to be forgotten, unless something truly out of the ordinary happened.
Truly out of the ordinary – like maybe delivering a baby down the phone, would that count?
That is exactly what happened to Laura Maxwell, one of our new EMDs in our Emergency Control Room. Her first night shift would have started with a mixture of emotions – nervousness, a bit of anxiety mixed with excitement. Training was over, now for the real thing. At the start of the shift, Laura was placed under the mentorship of Kelly Burns.
Her first call came – her first call went. That was her – a real call dealt with. Not much time to rest on her laurels though, as the calls kept coming.
But by 10.30 pm events were unfolding in Co Tyrone that were going to change this nightshift into one that Laura would never forget. Declan and Gemma Louise Molloy have spent most of this year waiting on the arrival of their third child. Tonight was the night that baby Leo decided it was time to make his grand entrance – and no “making it as far as the hospital” for him nor did he fancy a home birth. Oh no. Sure it was only -4C outside, with a blanket of freezing fog. A perfect night for a road trip. Why not start out towards the hospital and see how far we get?
By midnight Laura had dealt with 10 calls and then at ten past midnight she picked up and answered another call for help. Laura was now instantly transported by phone to join Gemma and Declan in their car at the side of the road near Fivemiletown – because that is where Leo had decided it was his time.
Expertly mentored by Kelly, Laura gave clear and concise instructions to help deliver baby Leo and to ensure that everything was done correctly immediately after the birth.
The initial nervousness, anxiety and excitement and the experiences of her first ten calls had all led to this moment for Laura – a moment I am sure she will treasure throughout all the years we hope she spends with us.
A huge well done to Laura and to Kelly and indeed to the everyone in the control room, as everything really is a team effort in there.
Mother and son are doing really well and are very appreciative of Laura and Kelly for the calm way they handled everything, providing the reassurance and support they needed while waiting on a dark isolated country road until the ambulance crew arrived and took over.
Isn’t it great to get a chance to spread a little cheer.