New paramedic degree responds to national change

A new degree for paramedics is being launched at Canterbury Christ Church University, in response to national moves towards degree-qualified ambulance staff.
Developed alongside the South East Coast Ambulance Service, the new degree will run from the University's Medway Campus - Kent's leading centre for healthcare education.

Medway will be just one of the three centres in the South East offering the course, and 15 students are expected to begin their three-year studies in April 2011.

Dr Alison Eyden, Principal Lecturer and Programme Director for Pre-Registration Interprofessional Learning, said: "This is an exciting development for the Faculty of Health and Social Care and for the Medway Campus. The inclusion of Paramedics into the IPL programme will add a new dimension and an interesting perspective to the curriculum. We've enjoyed working with colleagues from SECAmb and we look forward to welcoming the student paramedics in April next year."

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health Professionals Council as a paramedic.
Nick Sinclair, Senior Learning and Development Manager at the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) explained why the course is being introduced: "An ambulance paramedic will attend a multitude of patients. We could be called out to a road traffic collision with a serious trauma patient or an elderly patient who has had a fall in their own home.

"Historically, we would have treated the patient and then transported them to the nearest Accident and Emergency hospital.
"However, because of the significant changes in ambulance services nationally, we are now moving to highly qualified paramedics responding to calls in appropriate transport, which could be a motorbike, response car or ambulance. They would then treat the patient, assess their needs and then refer them to the most relevant service, whether this is their GP, a falls team or mental health in the community team - whichever is appropriate."

He added: "The partnership between Canterbury Christ Church University and SECAmb has provided an Interprofessional programme that will develop a well-rounded clinician equipped to deal with the future needs of the ambulance service and their patients.

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