Exceptional ambulance staff and volunteers rewarded

Employee of the Year Andy Pattison said the Shoreham air crash highlighted the importance of TRiM
Employee of the Year Andy Pattison said the Shoreham air crash highlighted the importance of TRiM

Ambulance staff have hugely benefited from a system that identifies trauma risk, ensuring support is available at an early stage.

Thanks to the passion of Andy Pattison, South East Coast Ambulance Service’s operations manager for West Sussex, the trauma risk management system has been rolled out for the benefit of all staff.

South East Coast Ambulance Service award winners

South East Coast Ambulance Service award winners

Andy was one of a number of staff and volunteers to be recognised at the trust’s second annual award ceremony, held at Woodlands Park Hotel near Cobham, Surrey.

His enthusiasm earned him the title Employee of the Year, having been nominated for the award by Angela Rayner, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Radcliffe and Louisa Guerin-Collard

Angela said: “During the early stage of the programme being rolled-out across the trust, Andy passionately threw himself into the work, doing his best to support staff and carrying out assessments of staff across the trust before it was formally adopted.

“Owing to his passion and enthusiasm, we have now successfully implemented and rolled out this scheme for the benefit of all our staff.”

The system, called TRiM, provides peer-to-peer support to staff affected by traumatic incidents. It was developed through the military as a way to establish whether individual staff were at risk of post-traumatic stress before it became so crippling, it prevented them from carrying out their duties and daily tasks.

Andy said: “I never envisaged being involved with something like this and it has changed the way I approach things in my life and in the work place.

“I have always been a very staff-centred manager and so when this opportunity came along I really embraced it. I feel quite passionately about this.

“If staff feel supported they are going to feel a lot better about things and are more likely to support the trust. It is about having mutual respect.”

West Sussex was chosen as the pilot area when the scheme was introduced in 2015 in response to issues raised in the staff survey, and Andy was asked to be involved.

Research has shown emergency service workers are at greater risk of suffering a mental health problem, and are less likely to seek help, and it was Andy’s passion and determination in attempting to address the issue than won him the award.

The TRiM programme helped more than 70 staff affected by the Shoreham Air Show plane crash, which killed 11 men in August that year.

Andy, who started his career with the ambulance service in 2001, said this highlighted just how important it was and encouraged him to ensure it was introduced across the trust.