Welsh Flying Medics Appoint New Interim National Director
Wednesday 10 May 2017
Consultant and Army Lieutenant Colonel Ami Jones has been announced as the new interim National Director of Wales’ flying medics service.
Originally from Shropshire, Dr Jones lives in Abergavenny and is a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. As well as her roles in the NHS, Dr Jones is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Army Medical Corps and has undertaken two tours of duty in Afghanistan on MERT (the military pre-hospital service).
She has now taken on the role of interim National Director of the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru).
Dr Jones has been a part of EMRTS Cymru since its inception in 2015. Also known as the ‘Welsh Flying Medics’, the Service provides consultant-delivered innovative pre-hospital critical care across Wales, by air and by road. It is achieved via an important partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance (WAA) Charity, a charitable trust which relies entirely on the generosity and support of the Welsh public to help keep the helicopters flying.
The Welsh Government-funded EMRTS Cymru medics are a part of NHS Wales. They are a highly trained team of consultants and critical care practitioners who, working with WAA, take the A&E to the patient, wherever they are in Wales. The Service also provides a consultant medical advisor for the whole of Wales who is available to advise the emergency services 24/7.
Dr Jones said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to take over as National Director. I feel that I am well placed to do so having worked closely with the core team to set up and launch the Service, and then help to run it for its first two years as the Lead Consultant at the Wales Air Ambulance base in Dafen, South Wales.
“I have worked in NHS Wales for over eleven years and feel that I have a sound understanding of landscape as well as the future challenges that await us in the form of reconfiguration and the development of new trauma and cardiac networks. EMRTS is integral to ensuring that these challenges are met and that patients receive platinum standard critical care when they need it most.
“EMRTS, in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, has a number of exciting developments on the horizon which will benefit the people of Wales and provide equity right across the country for patients of all ages. I am confident that I can guide the Service smoothly through these testing but exciting times.”
She takes over from Dr Dindi Gill, one of the founders of the service and its first National Director. Dr Gill has been the driving force behind EMRTS Cymru, taking it from an idea in 2012 to a vital part of Welsh pre-hospital critical care in 2017. Despite stepping down from his Director role, he will remain as a consultant working for the Service.
Dr Jones said: “I have a tough act to follow being Dindi’s successor. He truly is a force of nature and has a phenomenal work ethic. The Service would not exist without his tireless efforts and the sacrifices made by him and his family in making this service what it is today. To see how it has grown over the two years and the level at which it provides clinical care for the people of Wales is testament to the blood sweat and tears he has poured into it.
“I am glad that he is staying on to work clinically within the Service as he will now be reaping the clinical benefits for his patients that his hard work has achieved in bringing this Service to fruition.”
Stephen Harrhy, Chair of the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee, said: “Under Dr Gill’s outstanding leadership, EMRTS Cymru has established itself as an important component of the pre-hospital critical care landscape in Wales. The first-year Service Evaluation Report clearly evidenced that EMRTS, in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, is achieving its objectives.
“Moving forward, I am delighted to welcome Dr Jones to the role and look forward to working with her. She has already proven herself to be an exceptional medic, both in the NHS and the British Army, and EMRTS is in very capable hands.”
Angela Hughes, Wales Air Ambulance Charity Chief Executive, said: “Dr Jones is a consummate professional and a great ambassador for the Charity. We recognise that her military background has been paramount to the use of blood plasma and other critical enhancements on board the helicopter. The Service will be under excellent leadership as she takes up this interim director placement.”
1. EMRTS Cymru is a partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, NHS Wales and the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government-funded NHS consultants and critical care practitioners fly on board the Wales Air Ambulance Charity helicopters which are based in Dafen and Welshpool. It is the generosity of the Welsh public, through donations to the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, which keeps the helicopters flying.
When the helicopters are unable to fly due to poor weather conditions, the service has access to a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles.
To find out more about the Wales Air Ambulance Charity visit www.walesairambulance.com.
2. For further details please contact Steven Stokes, EMRTS Cymru Communications Manager, on 07866 796985 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.