The team at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were recognised nationally at this year’s Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence, coming out winners in two categories and highly commended in one.

Organised by Air Ambulances UK and sponsored by Airbus, these annual awards took place on Monday 14th November to celebrate and recognise the specialist life-saving skills and commitments of those within the air ambulance community.

Doctor of the Year Ian Mew

Dr. Ian Mew was awarded Doctor of the Year; an incredible achievement given the quality of nominations within the category. Ian has worked with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for nine years. He is a talented intensive care and anaesthesia consultant and an inspirational air ambulance doctor, who always goes above and beyond for patients and their families in all his professional domains. Ian has been instrumental in transforming care that is provided to patients across the South West and has hugely contributed to the development of injury prevention campaigns locally, regionally and on a national scale.

After receiving his award, Dr. Ian Mew said:

I am incredibly humbled to receive this Doctor of the Year award. There are so many people going above and beyond in our society, this award is a recognition of everyone who works for the benefit of others. I'd particularly like to thank Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance who have rallied behind our motorcycle injury prevention work and supported the DocBike charity from its inception. I'd also like to thank all of the DocBike volunteers and trustees, my colleagues on the air ambulance and at Dorset County Hospital, without whom none of the achievements recognised by this award would have been possible.

Operations Support Staff of the Year Wayne Busby

Wayne Busby has been the charity’s aircraft maintenance engineer for the past eight years. His total dedication to the maintenance of the aircraft often sees him work unsociable and extended hours. His exceptional contribution has enabled Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to maintain a high level of service availability across the region, enabling many more life-saving missions to be achieved. This is in no small part to the exemplary way that Wayne has dedicated his time and skill set to the task. These qualities were recognised by the independent judging panel when he was awarded Operations Support Staff of the Year.

Wayne received his award and said:

I am overwhelmed by the number of very kind messages of congratulations after receiving this award. Thanks to my colleagues at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for always making me feel part of the team. We all have the same goal, to provide an outstanding critical care air ambulance service for the people of Dorset and Somerset. For me, I love fixing helicopters and feel proud to be able to play my part in helping to save lives.

Critical Care Practitioner of the Year Pete Appleby

Pete Appleby was highly commended within the Critical Care Practitioner of the Year category; once again amongst an extremely strong shortlist. Pete has taken on a multitude of projects over the past year, alongside his expected responsibilities as a specialist practitioner in critical care. He has devoted significant time (often on a voluntary basis) to enhancing operations, whilst acting as Deputy Air Operations Officer; a supportive, unpaid role, which significantly assists the smooth running of the service. Pete is a superb practitioner and an extra-ordinary patient advocate. He has championed the needs of patients and families through his unique mixture of extensive practical experience, analytical reflection and compassion.

Pete was thrilled to receive the award and said:

To even be nominated for an award was an honour, however to be recognised on the night was really special. I want to say thank you to all my colleagues and friends at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and beyond.

Finally, speaking of the teams achievements on the night, Charles Hackett, Chief Executive Officer of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance said:

Wayne, Ian and Pete are great, each bringing wonderful skills and a huge personal commitment to our mission here at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Their achievements are nothing short of what they deserve. We, and everyone living in Dorset and Somerset are very lucky to have them.