The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) National Conference takes place on Monday 18th November 2019 at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London. Once again, the three colleges of charity, operational and clinical speakers will come together, to talk on contemporary topics within the air ambulance and ambulance service sectors. This year, the theme focusses on the important topic of ‘Collaboration’ and there is a fantastic line up of speakers taking to the stage.
This years’ key-note speaker is Jonny Benjamin MBE. Jonny is a British mental health campaigner, author and vlogger. In January 2014, he launched a social media campaign called Find ‘Mike’ to search for a stranger who had talked him out of taking his own life in 2008. The purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness of suicide and mental illness; it went viral and received global media attention.
Within just two weeks Jonny found the stranger he was looking for; the story of the campaign was made into a documentary film called ‘Stranger on the Bridge’. Debra Allcock Tyler, CEO, Directory of Social Change (DSC) will give a presentation on ‘Change in Leadership’ whilst Nicola Tallett, Director of Engagement at Oxfam will talk about ‘Disaster Management’. Nicola’s primary desire is that every supporter knows the impact of their donation.
With increasing focus on financial, fundraising and safeguarding standards, she believes there is much more to do to reassure supporters and that charities must rise to this challenge.
Kirsty McQueen will be joined by Sarah Atkins of East Anglian Air Ambulance in what is set to be an emotional presentation on ‘The McQueen Charter’ and the importance of effectively addressing one’s mental health and wellbeing. Kirsty’s husband Carl was an Air Ambulance Doctor who committed suicide in 2016. Over the course of last year, Kirsty and Sarah have worked closely on the initiative which has been inspired by Carl’s death and could save many lives. Dr. Stephen Hearns, Consultant in Emergency and Retrieval Medicine, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, has an interest in the topic of ‘high performance teams’ and ‘human performance under pressure’. He is attracted to the challenges of emergency medicine in demanding, remote environments with limited resources. Stephen researches, writes and speaks on these topics and provides advice to a wide range of commercial and government organisations. It will not surprise the audience therefore, that his presentation at this year’s National Conference is titled ‘Cultures of High Performance’. Dr. Syed Masud has worked with several UK air ambulance services including Great North Air Ambulance and London HEMS. He is currently Medical Director at Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Syed has 10 years’ experience as an Officer in the British Army and was deployed to several war zones working with elite specialist Airborne Forces. He was the originator of many innovative courses including the HEMS Crew Course (HCC) and UK HEMS. Syed will talk about ‘Wider Collaboration Within the Air Ambulance Community’. Patrick Peal, Chair of AAA and Liz Campbell, Chair of Air Ambulances UK will join together to explain how both organisations are collaborating more than ever, whilst representatives from the Care Quality Commission are also set to present. The Air Ambulance National Conference is open to all members and non-members. It aims to inspire, inform and incite debate, providing a platform for the industry to come together, share ideas and build partnerships. The event would not be possible if it was not for the Association’s Associate Members, Exhibitors and Sponsors, all of whom have valuable information and bring new developments and ideas to the sector. The conference is followed by the prestigious Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence and Gala Dinner held during the evening. For more information on the programme of events and to register online, visit: www.aoaa.org.uk