A CHARD paramedic has this week been presented with a top award at Buckingham Palace.

Adrian South was handed the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal at a ceremony undertaken by The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

Adrian, who is the deputy director of clinical care with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2022.

He travelled up to London to receive the honour on Tuesday (June 7).

For Adrian, aged 41, it ranks as one of the highlights of his 21 years of working for the ambulance service based in Somerset.

He has been instrumental in the move of the paramedic profession from conveying almost every patient to hospital to managing more than half of patients on scene, enabling certain people, where appropriate, to stay in their homes rather than being transported to bust hospitals.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Adrian was asked to focus on infection prevention and control, providing senior leadership for a range of projects, including the introduction of improved PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff and the launch of the staff vaccination programme.

Adrian said: "To be honest, I was quite taken aback to find myself on the New Year’s Honour’s List.

"My role over the years has been to constantly focus on the care we provide to our patients and to support developments which improve that care.

"The clinical team provide a toolkit of guidelines and interventions for our frontline clinicians.

"However, it is our clinicians who then take that toolkit and use it to deliver the best care they can to our patients.

"They’ve worked tirelessly delivering care throughout the pandemic and they are the ones who really deserve an award.”

The Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal is awarded each year to a handful of people deemed to have given service characterised by exceptional devotion to duty and marked by outstanding ability.

Adrian, who graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2002 as one of the first degree level paramedics in the UK, was appointed deputy director of clinical care for SWASFT in 2010.