Stornoway paramedic wins national Patient Safety Award

David Garbutt, Chairman, Scottish Ambulance Service, presents the patient safety award to Elma MacLeod.
David Garbutt, Chairman, Scottish Ambulance Service, presents the patient safety award to Elma MacLeod.

A Stornoway Ambulance Paramedic is the first winner of a new national awards scheme that recognises improvements in patient care and safety.

Elma MacLeod, who has worked with the Scottish Ambulance Service for 22 years on the Isle of Lewis, has won the Scottish Ambulance Service Chairman’s Patient Safety Award in its inaugural year.

Elma was recognised for the commitment and dedication that she has shown in developing new clinical pathways for patients in the Western Isles. In addition to undertaking her shifts as a paramedic she worked closely with clinicians at NHS Western Isles and the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow to develop protocols for cardiac patients so that they can be quickly transferred to specialist care by helicopter. This also involved retraining colleagues in the new approach. Elma undertook much of this work in her own time.

Each year the winner will attend the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, which is hosted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The event brings together over 3,000 international healthcare practitioners to exchange knowledge and recognise initiatives that have improved quality care and safety for patients.

Presenting the award to Elma, David Garbutt, Chairman of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “Elma is an inspirational paramedic and an outstanding role model. She was nominated by her colleagues for this award in recognition of her commitment to doing the best we possibly can for our patients. Her work is an excellent example of how different areas of the community and the NHS can work together to improve access to specialist clinical care.”

Elma MacLeod added: “I am delighted to have received this award and looking forward to attending the International Forum to meet other clinicians and share ideas.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service Chairman’s Award was established this year to recognise innovation, research or collaboration with other healthcare professionals that results in improved outcomes for patients in their communities.