South Central Ambulance Service

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) provides a range of emergency, urgent care and non-emergency healthcare services, along with commercial logistics services.

The Trust delivers most of these services to the populations of the South Central region – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – as well as non-emergency patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex, and a dental service (accessed via NHS 111) in parts of Dorset.

It is safe to say that the last year was one of the most difficult ever for the ambulance service, the NHS and the country as a whole. This past year has seen our services in 999, NHS 111, Patient Transport Services (PTS) and Clinical Coordination Centres (CCCs) respond very well to a unique set of challenges never previously seen in our lifetime.

Here at SCAS, we pride ourselves on our longstanding relationships with and support of the country’s Armed Forces and we are particularly proud of the increasing number of veterans, reservists and those from the Armed Forces community who are now part of our team, as well as a growing cohort of military co-responders.

We were delighted to be presented with the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award – the highest accolade the Ministry of Defence can bestow on employers who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community. More recently we have also been named a Veteran Aware Trust, this accreditation reinforces the key working relationships SCAS has with the Armed Forces both as colleagues but also as service users.

Right across the organisation, SCAS has veterans working on frontline emergency 999 services, in the clinical co-ordination centres, in non-emergency patient transport services and also has a number of service leavers who are now appointed into corporate and support function roles.

SCAS acknowledges the experience and skills veterans have obtained during their Armed Forces career. These can include excellent communication, organisational and leadership skills, as well as delivering high standards of performance in teamwork, problem solving, flexibility and reliability – thus aligning well with our SCAS values of Professionalism, Caring, Team Work and Innovation.

One way of supporting our Armed Forces community has been to form a Military Champion network within the Trust; the Champions are people who work within set areas of the Trust such as: Training, Education, Recruitment, HART, Operations and Co-Responders. They meet and discuss suggestions and opportunities for the future and work on feedback or issues that have been highlighted. They actively welcome ideas from people within the Trust and continually support opportunities where possible.

SCAS realises the benefits of recruiting people who are passionate about their role, give 100%, and who hold similar values to the Trust. We appreciate the transferable qualities which the Armed Forces community bring to our service and we very much look forward to continuing to build upon the relationship with the Military for many more years to come. 

Jeff Porter
PTS Team Leader 

What’s your Armed Forces background?
I am proud to have served in the Army for 20 years. I spent nine years as an instructor and was fortunate to train approx. two and a half thousand troops before they were deployed overseas in the run up to the Gulf War.  

What interested you about joining the ambulance service?
I suffered a heart attack a number of years ago; this really opened my eyes as to the pressure that the NHS was under. I have always been a caring person and qualified as a Unit First Aid Instructor with St John’s Ambulance service when I was in the Army. I went on to join SCAS as an Ambulance Care Assistant (ACA) and am thoroughly enjoying this challenge. 

What transferable skills gained in the Armed Forces do you utilise in your role with SCAS?
The camaraderie within the Military is second to none and this is replicated out on stations here at SCAS.

What do you enjoy most about working for SCAS?
I have travelled the world, tried various jobs and can quite honestly state that working for SCAS is the most rewarding job that I have ever had. I joined SCAS just over 2 years ago when I was 60 years of age thinking this is it, especially as I had suffered a heart attack a year earlier! But with the same mentality and aid as the forces, I was back in the zone and looked to further my career. 

There is no upper age limit here and people are welcomed with open arms. 

What advice would you give someone thinking about leaving the Armed Forces who may be interested in working for SCAS?
The pay may not be the best out there but there aren’t many roles that are so greatly rewarding. I joined SCAS as an Ambulance Care Assistant (ACA) and have recently been promoted to Team Leader. I am responsible for the tasking and welfare of 12 Team Members and daily tasking and upkeep of vehicles and Ambulance Station. We also are required to carry out appraisals and field accompaniments to help other workmates to improve their CPD.

Opportunity does exist for those that want it… come join us!


Dai Tamplin  Project Manager 

What’s your Armed Forces background?
I joined the British Army in 2000 and commissioned in to the Royal Military Police. I’ve served in the UK, Germany, Iraq and Sierra Leone, commanding up to 500 people in the operational, in-barracks and training environments. I trained as a detective with the Special Investigation Branch, have delivered military HR roles, implemented projects and managed and delivered specialist training.

What interested you about joining the Ambulance Service?
Working closely with the frontline crews inspired me to join the ambulance service after I left regular military service in June 2018. I had a strong affinity to SCAS in particular and was fortunate enough to be successful from an interview for a role as a Project Manager in the Service Development Team. Already, no two days have been the same and the variety and camaraderie I’ve witnessed and experienced was a real draw.

What do you enjoy most about working for SCAS?
Without question, the sense of being part of ‘Team SCAS’. Whether in my volunteer role or my full-time management position, I have always been made to feel welcome and supported in achieving what I need to achieve. The variety of activity that the Trust is engaged in now and in the future is exciting and offers variety of employment and opportunities for development and advancement.

What advice would you give someone thinking about leaving the Armed Forces who may be interested in working for SCAS?
Reach out and engage! There are a lot of ex-military personnel in SCAS and they are all willing to offer advice and assistance. The military-specific insight days are a must and give a proper idea of what is available to everyone, irrespective of time served, rank held or experience. There is a network of ‘Military Champions’ from a wide variety of Armed Forces backgrounds and they can help in understanding the roles on offer and I, for one, would happily help mentor people through the recruitment process where possible.

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