Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Salute to Our NHS Heroes; Making a Difference: Nicola Pile, Son Ben, and Ambulance Manager Steve Colhoun

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Salute to Our NHS Heroes; Making a Difference: Nicola Pile, Son Ben, and Ambulance Manager Steve Colhoun

Article excerpt


IT WAS ambulance manager Steve Colhoun who broke the news to staff that colleague Ron Pile had been killed in a training accident.

Everyone at the Romford station was devastated at the death of the popular paramedic who left behind wife Nicola and stepson Ben.

Despite his own grief, Steve inspired his team to pay a final tribute to Ron by building the treehouse that Ben had always wanted.

Ron's widow Nicola, 38, who had been married for 18 months, told the Standard: "Steve has been great throughout and Ben was over the moon. People came from all over to build the tree house and it was so important to have that support. And the support from the London Ambulance Service has been fantastic." Ron died in April this year in a collision with a car. Steve had been his manager for three years.

Steve, 47, who lives in Rainham, said: "Ben idolised Ron. When I went over on the night Ron died, Ben said, 'Who is going to build my treehouse?' It's all about feeling you can do something.

"Ron was a really well-liked guy and his death devastated all of us. This job is about caring for people but it's also about caring for each other." Colleagues praised Steve for going out of his way to help Ron's family through difficult times. He is one of seven NHS heroes honoured by the NHS Champions awards run by The Kings Fund in association with The Evening Standard and NHS London.

All have been recognised for going beyond the call of duty in providing exceptional care. Nearly 800 patients and staff voted for the winners who received their awards at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

The judges included Standard editor Veronica Wadley; broadcaster George Alagiah; entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox; NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh; leading nurse Dame Jacqueline Docherty; Niall Dickson, chief executive of the Kings Fund; and the Standard's managing editor Doug Wills. Martha Lane Fox presented a special nursing award from her Antigone Foundation.

The businesswoman, who survived a serious car accident, told the Standard: "When you're lying flat on your back then it's the personal touches that count. It's about looking at you as an individual and a person." There was also a Making a Difference Award to recognise the work of health teams in London.

Ruth Carnall, NHS London chief, said: "I'm always amazed by the wealth of talent, compassion and commitment that exists at all levels of the NHS." Have your say


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