Celebrating International Women’s Day


The 8th March is International Women’s Day – an internationally recognised celebration of the successes of women across the globe.

Never has the day felt more relevant or potent than it does today, as it coincides with the centenary of the first British women’s right to the vote.

We are marking International Women’s Day by hearing from some of the inspirational women of the Great North Air Ambulance Service.


Each January, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) opens its applications for the pre-hospital emergency medicine crew course (PHEMCC).

Doctors and paramedics can complete this two-week course which aims to provide an accessible and up-to-date package of training that delivers the skills needed to operate in the pre-hospital environment.

Yet across the country, figures from 2017 showed only a quarter of PHEM trainees were female, and only 14% of Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care members were women.

Dr Caroline Leech, a West Midlands Emergency Medicine Consultant with a specialist interest in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine, is trying to change the landscape.

She said: “When I started to investigate reasons for [the female minority in PHEM], female doctors didn’t realise that PHEM was a viable career option for them if they worked part-time or had a family and thought you had to be an assertive macho triathlete to do it!

“I have started doing some work by educating and raising awareness to try and blow this myth away.”

In support of Dr Leech’s campaign and International Women’s Day, we spoke to some of the women who work with GNAAS about what they love about their roles in pre-hospital emergency care and what advice they would offer to anyone considering pursuing a career in the field, and will be publishing the interviews throughout the day.

Read Dr Laura Duffy’s interview here.

Read Sarah Graham’s interview here.

Read Dr Rachel Hawes interview here.

Join in the conversation using #FEMinPHEM. For more information about training offered by GNAAS, visit the training section of our website.

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