Magpas Air Ambulance, the lifesaving air ambulance charity based in Cambridgeshire, has won two national awards. The service that operates in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and across the East of England 24/7 was recognised in the national Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence 2023, which were hosted by Sky Sports News presenter, Hayley McQueen.

The annual awards celebrate and recognise the dedicated professionals who tirelessly contribute their specialist lifesaving skills and unwavering commitment to the air ambulance community.

The two awards Magpas Air Ambulance won were for innovation of the year and the charity staff member of the year award.

Magpas Air Ambulance Doctor Ali Hieatt’s groundbreaking creation was the winner of the innovation award, as her intricately handmade pregnant uterus model revolutionises training for a perimortem caesarean. This innovation, born from multiple fabric iterations and designs, equips clinicians with vital practice for a critical emergency procedure: delivering a baby promptly when the mother is in cardiac arrest or facing life-threatening conditions. Ali's ingenuity provides colleagues with invaluable confidence, preparing them for real-life emergencies.

The charity staff member of the year award was won by Magpas Air Ambulance’s Director of Operations, Natalie Church. Natalie's journey from a temporary admin role to Director of Operations over 22 years is awe-inspiring. Her pivotal role in transformative projects—enabling 24/7 service, introducing a new helicopter, implementing an Advanced Paramedic service, and leading the development of a new airbase, HQ and training centre in Alconbury Weald—showcases her dedication and leadership. Natalie's commitment to the charity's growth and her recent Mental Health First Aider training reflects her exceptional character and compassion.

Magpas Air Ambulance was also thrilled to see a further three nominees highly commended in their categories: critical care practitioner of the year, young person of the year and the special incident award.

Simmy Akhtar, the CEO of Air Ambulances UK which facilitates the annual awards said “Congratulations to our 2023 Awards of Excellence winners and their outstanding contributions. Our panel of judges made some tough decisions when choosing the winners and we would like to thank everyone who entered. Despite continuously having to face global and national challenges, the air ambulance community throughout the UK has remained determined to provide the highest-level specialised patient care at the scene. All nominees across categories, along with the shortlisted candidates and winners, collectively form a united group that collaborates to support their local communities during times of necessity. We extend our immense gratitude to the dedicated staff, volunteers, and supporters within our life-saving community.”

Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence Winners 2023 Group shot