THE dedication, innovation and professionalism shown by an ambulance trust's staff and volunteers were recognised at a glittering award ceremony.

The Ambies, held by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), honoured those who have gone above and beyond to help care for millions of patients living in Oxfordshire and also Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire.

A team based at RAF Benson operating on the Thames Valley Air Ambulance were recognised for their 'utmost professionalism and teamwork' after their response to a serious car crash, which left one van driver trapped and critically injured.

Paramedics Neil Plant and Andrew Colledge, along with Dr Oliver Hawksley, carried out a complex procedure on the patient, having to amputate one of his legs.

Their nominator said: "Performing this exceptional level of care in such a physically challenged situation, under such pressure, was a truly amazing example of brilliant patient care.

"Without these three inspirational individuals, the patient would not be here today."

Senior emergency call taker Michelle Barford, who is based at the trust's Bicester headquarters, won the clinical coordination centre 999 Person of the Year Award, after receiving numerous nominations from her colleagues.

One wrote: "Her commitment and enthusiasm for this job, the trust and the patients are outstanding and she is an asset, a credit and an exceptional friend and manager."

Another employee based at the Bicester HQ, was Simon Bosher who received the Commercial Services Operations Person of the Year Award.

A nominee said of Simon: "He has completely transformed the non-emergency patient transport service.

"He is always ready to listen to issues or questions and has a positive attitude that is infectious.”

Educator of the Year Award went to Paul Grant who is based at the Boars Hill Education Centre for his work as education manager.

After receiving 11 nominations, mostly from members of the public, specialist paramedic Gary Toohey, based at the Chipping Norton First Aid Unit, won the People's Pride Award.

One nominee wrote: "Gary cared for my five-year-old daughter after she received a nasty burn in an accident at home.

"He could have referred her back to our GP or the hospital for her daily dressing changes, but as he’d worked hard to build up rapport with her - he was incredible at calming her down and helping her to be brave - he welcomed her back every day with a big smile.

"Gary is calm, bright, bubbly, warm, friendly and professional and I know a number of people in the community who all have similar stories about this wonderful man."

All the winners received their awards on November 24 from 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' star Chris Tarrant.0