A WELSH Ambulance Service manager has made the finals of the Control Room Awards after being nominated by his staff in the ‘Leader of the Year’ category.

Nathan Hughes, 32, is the Trust’s Medical Priority Despatch System (MPDS) manager based in Cwmbran, meaning he oversees the performance of the Welsh Ambulance Service’s call handlers.

Remarkably, Mr Hughes has been nominated after only being in his management position for six months.


“I couldn’t believe it when I read it,” he said.

“I was shocked, surprised, but most of all honoured that colleagues had that much faith in me that they went out there way to nominate me for this award.

“What makes it even more special is that we’re up against colleagues from all emergency services around the UK, all of whom have had a horrendously hard time this year.

“Every service has faced enormous challenges this year, so to make the shortlist this year is really special.”

Mr Hughes, from Bridgend, joined the Welsh Ambulance Service in 2013, starting as an emergency call taker and then moving to an auditors role.

When asked about his first six months in management, Mr Hughes said: “First thing I did was to have one-to-ones with all my staff as I wanted to get to know them and find out what makes them tick and apply that to help them feel more comfortable in their role.

“I make sure I’m very approachable and make time for everybody, even if I’ve got a flat-out calendar, I just make sure I’m available to talk to anyone.

“I’ve had to learn very quickly with the circumstances we find ourselves in due to Covid.

“In some ways it was a difficult time to step into management, but also the best time because there was so much going on I had to learn very quickly.

“I found it a tough but beneficial way to start.”

Emily Lewis, an MPDS auditor and Mr Hughes' colleague, said: “Nathan is always contactable and approachable and truly has our best interests at heart, both in terms of our work and our work-life balance.

“He takes the time to speak to us all as individuals and adapts his leadership style to ensure he is managing the individual team member as well as the team as a whole.

“Nothing is ever too much trouble for Nathan, no matter the problem he is always on hand to help, support and guide us.’’

Mr Hughes has been selected as one of three finalists from more than 500 nominations.

He will be watching the ceremony at home on May 14.