One of our dedicated Station Managers at Grantham began his well-earned retirement earlier this month, to spend more time with his family and to focus more on one of his favourite hobbies – playing golf.
Brian Jaffrey, 63, who lives in Grantham, joined the Scottish Ambulance Service in 1992 before moving down to England in order to be closer to his family.
Upon making the decision to relocate south of the border, Brian joined us at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) for the last 10 years of his career.
Throughout his combined time with EMAS and the Scottish Ambulance Service, Brian has experienced working in many different areas of the sector.
He said: “In my early days up at Aberdeenshire, I had what you would call a ‘dual role’.
“This meant for half of my shift, I would work in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) frontline response to patients in time-critical situations such as cardiac arrests, heart attacks, and strokes, where there would be an immediate risk to life.
“Then in the afternoon, I would transfer over to be part of our Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS), where I would be responsible for ensuring patients with pre-booked hospital appointments could get to where they needed to be.”
By the time he transferred over to EMAS in 2013, Brian had been a qualified paramedic for 16 years, in addition to having extensive managerial experience, having overseen several stations in which he was responsible for supervising hundreds of staff working along the north-east of Scotland, including the Highlands and Orkney Islands.
Brian’s contributions to Lincolnshire and EMAS over the past 10 years have been highly regarded by both colleagues and patients alike. He spent his first three years at EMAS out on the road, responding to patients out in the community and providing face to face clinical assessments and treatments.
It wasn’t long before he began utilising his managerial skills once more when he became Locality Manager for South Lincolnshire. This involved Brian looking after numerous people, vehicles, and other vital operational resources across the south of the county, which ensured a continuous service to patients who needed us most.
Brian said: “When I joined Lincolnshire, I was warned that it was a very spread out and rural county so there would be a lot of travelling involved.”
The prospect of Lincolnshire’s vastness didn’t phase Brian too much, as he was used to his fair share of logistical challenges which came as part of the territory in his former chapter of ambulance duty.
He added: “When we had a patient requiring our assistance who was living up on the Orkney Islands and needed transporting to Glasgow Hospital, we would drive the ambulance up to the coast, then get the vehicle on to the ferry to one of the smaller islands.
“Once we got the patient on the ambulance, we would then transport them via ferry to Kirkwall on the main island, where they would travel to hospital in Glasgow via air ambulance.
“While Lincolnshire is quite spread out, rural Scotland is what you would truly define as ‘out in the sticks!’”
Later in his career at EMAS, Brian became heavily involved in transforming the range of alternative healthcare pathways available to crews who had patients which required additional medical help, but hospital wasn’t going to be the most appropriate setting in aiding their longer-term recovery.
Brian said: “Myself and a team of colleagues worked closely with other local healthcare providers across primary and second care, on how we could ensure care could be provided at home and in the community, to reduce the amount of unnecessary hospital admissions where safe and appropriate.
“The aim of this work was to support our highly skilled frontline clinicians to access the most appropriate alternative pathway for their patient’s needs. For example, being able to set up an urgent follow-up appointment with their GP or a referral to a Wellbeing Service provided by the patient’s local council.”
Following on from Brian’s initial work, Lincolnshire now has several active and available alternative pathways across the county which crews can access to support their patients.
In the final couple of years before his retirement, Brian took the decision as part of an operational reshuffle to go back to his roots as a Station Manager because, in his own words, he “enjoys the more one to one management with staff that the role requires.”
Reflecting on his time at EMAS, Brian said: “My biggest enjoyment has been getting to work with some truly fantastic people.
“A lot of my satisfaction has been from looking after staff because ultimately having staff who feel valued and supported at work translates to better care provided by them to our patients.”
Maria Stanley, Head of Operations for Lincolnshire said:
“Brian has completed 31 years in the ambulance service, and I have had the pleasure in working closely with him over the last two years, after he became a Station Manager in South Lincolnshire.
“We will miss him greatly and all wish him well in a long and happy retirement. I am sure he will not only enjoy his golf but also getting to spend more quality time with his family.”