Reserve Forces and Cadets Association
for North of England

Congratulations to Dr Rachel Hawes - pre hospital consultant and anaesthetist at Newcastle’s RVI and Army Reservist with 201 (Northern) Field Hospital - who received an OBE yesterday for bringing the lifesaving’ Bl...ood on Board’ to the North East and Cumbria - a major collaboration with Great North Air Ambulance Service Blood Bikes Cumbria Community Northumbria Blood Bikes

Rachel says:” I was shocked but delighted and honoured to be nominated for the award, which I had no idea was happening! I had received a missed call on my mobile phone on Boxing Day from a Brigadier asking me to call back urgently and I assumed that I was being mobilised somewhere at short notice bearing in mind recent incidents and the timing of the call.

“This was a bit of a concern as I’d not long since had a baby! When I called back and he said I’d been awarded an OBE, would I accept, I couldn’t quite believe it!

Rachel was nominated for the OBE for the work she has undertaken in transferring lessons learned from her military experiences in Afghanistan in her role as an Army Reservist with 201 Field Hospital to the NHS in the North East and Cumbria for the benefit of the wider community which has saved countless lives.

This has included developing new services such as carrying blood and plasma on the Great North Air Ambulance so that life saving transfusions can be delivered at the scene of an accident, resulting in nine patients surviving unexpectedly in the first year.

Rachel has also improved the hospital treatment of major haemorrhage patients by adapting major haemorrhage protocols and extensive training and interventions aimed at making the crisis management of high risk bleeding patients more effective and improving outcome. These new protocols and technology have not only been used in a trauma setting but in a wide variety of bleeding patients from maternity to Gastrointestinal bleeding eg severely bleeding ulcers.

Rachel very humbly added: “The most important thing to say is that I didn’t work alone but worked with a fantastic team of people who are all experts in their own area from Dr Jonathan Wallis (Consultant Haematologist), Yvonne Scott (transfusion lab manager) and her team, and Northumbria and Cumbria Blood Bikes who deliver our blood on a daily basis.

“Without the endless support and hard work from the countless people who have contributed, these projects just wouldn’t have been possible and it is those people who really do deserve the credit.”