Meet the Paramedic Council

Please click on each member representative to read their bios and for contact information.


Helen Hardy 

Chair of Council


Why did you choose to be a Paramedic?
People spend most of their lives at work (it seems), so it should be something that you enjoy! I was interested in the training Paramedics must complete to be able to understand such a range of patient presentations in diverse environments. I wondered if this was something I was capable of, so it was a challenge I set myself and a career change from the world of pharmacy. 14yrs later, and I have loved my career as a Paramedic - from Student to Senior Paramedic and trainer, to Lecturer Practitioner at UEA and Clinical Practice Specialist in EEAST, I have been afforded the opportunity to develop and grow in my practice.

What happens if you don’t agree with other Council members?
I expect to have professional discussion, that’s what we are there for – to challenge appropriately and offer reasoned debate from every perspective. The views should be mine alone but should represent the themes I collect from members in response to the question of the moment, to raise their questions for discussion across the profession. That’s what the College is all about for me – its members should drive and challenge the change.

What’s next for you?
I am interested in adding to my small collection of level seven modules, perhaps building on to an additional master’s degree. More importantly, the formal academic study gives me deadlines for learning – something that signposts me to actually completing a piece of work. Assessments in the form of case studies are particularly helpful to me in my clinical learning and have given me the tools I need to remain contemporary in my practice. 

Twitter @HelenH_Para


Keith Dorrington



Since qualifying as a paramedic in 2004, I have been an operational paramedic over two decades, initially serving on emergency ambulances and rapid response vehicles. This frontline experience equipped me with a profound understanding of patient care dynamics that we face daily within our working environments. My career took a pivotal turn when I transitioned into the position of Learning and Development Manager, a shift that not only broadened my scope within paramedicine but also deepened my insight into the educational challenges faced by healthcare professionals in this rapidly evolving field. I have been fortunate to gain an MSc in Advanced Practice, this has further refined me as a clinician and also helps ensure I remain current and valid to represent the views of all paramedics, from Student through to APP.  

Currently I am the Clinical Lead for the ePCR system in use within WAST, this transition from day-to-day clinical care delivery, this transition has highlighted that we can develop opportunities to enhance what we do clinically, and through digital innovation bring in solutions that improve the outcomes for our patients. 

My passion for advancing the field of paramedicine, particularly in Wales, remains a driving force in my career. I am committed to leveraging my experience and education to contribute to the development and enhancement of paramedicine, aiming to elevate the standards of training and practice. As I look to the future, I am enthusiastic about identifying and fostering developmental opportunities that will not only benefit aspiring paramedics but also enhance those already qualified. I eager to continue my journey within this profession, focusing on innovation and leveraging opportunities for you all whilst ensuring our voice is represented at a National Level.  


Tom McMurray MCPara 


I started my career within the pre-hospital emergency care setting back in 2015, when I joined SAS and completed their technician training. Almost immediately after qualifying I started my paramedic training, registering in 2017 whilst working in South West Scotland. Since then I acted as a team leader within SAS, with a focus on training (mainly VQ students) before taking up the advanced paramedic training in 2021.

Throughout my time in SAS I realised the importance of working as part of a team,  learning from others expertise and making sure you took time to ensure a strong work/life balance. I also learned the importance of easy access to CPD, as well as clinal support from sister agencies. I left SAS in the summer of 2022 to pursue work in the private sector, before finally taking up a post as a lecturer on the BSc paramedic program at GCU. I believe CPD is vital to ensuring high quality care, with my next CPD goal being to complete the DIMC. I aim to work with all Scottish members, be it SAS paramedics, Advanced Practitioners, students and all other members of the college, to ensure the views of Scottish members is heard. I have a number of topics which are close to my heart, including full prescribing rights for AP’s, ease of access to free or discounted CPD and promotion of inter-professional working, but I welcome any topics which are important to you the members. 


Jacqueline O'Neill MCPara

Northern Ireland

My name is Jacq O’Neill and I have been with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for 19 years, and been a Paramedic for 16 years.  I am standing as NI Representative for the Paramedic Council and feel I am best placed to carry out all that the role of Regional Representative entails.  I have acted as liaison for the College for over 10 years, and have always strived to be an excellent representative of both the College and of Paramedics here in NI.  I have served as Alternate Rep for many years, and have enjoyed organising College Continuous Professional Development events, sharing other opportunities for CPD and representing the College with the AHP Federation in NI and at other events where necessary.

I am passionate about progressing the education of Paramedics, student paramedics and those who aspire to be Paramedics, and hope to organise many more in-person CPD events now that Covid restrictions have lifted.  I think in-person training gives people the chance to enhance their current knowledge and learn new skills, and also provides an excellent opportunity to share experiences and help their mental health.  As a passionate peer support volunteer for NIAS, I believe emotional support is essential for all staff and look for any opportunity to offer this.

When I started my NIAS career, I initially worked on a frontline ambulance and for almost ten years as a solo responder on a rapid response vehicle, both in rural and urban areas of the country.  My current role with NIAS is as a Paramedic within the Community Resuscitation Team, where I teach members of the public essential first aid skills, and also how to cascade their knowledge to others.  This role allows me greater networking opportunities and the chance to represent the Paramedic profession far outside the organisation I work for.  I work with Community First Responders, teachers within the Education Authority, local councils and many other individuals and organisations across NI, and look for any opportunities to enhance the reputation of Paramedics and the work of the College.  I was delighted to be awarded the title of Companion of the College of Paramedics last year for the work I have undertaken as both a Paramedic and College member.

As a member representative of the Paramedic Council, I would continue to promote the corporate vision of the College here in NI and work within the Council to ensure Paramedics in Northern Ireland are represented at a national level with understanding and positive energy.  Whilst this role is a unique opportunity for anyone to represent the college, I feel I have the drive, commitment and outlook to meet the needs and voices of you all, and it would be a privilege to represent you.

Gema Mee MCPara  

West Midlands Region

Over the past two years I have worked with the Paramedic Council to begin the restructure to help bring in more support for local areas and more recognition for paramedics working outside of traditional ambulance services, and I want to keep doing it for us. 

It is my personal mission to get those working outside of NHS ambulance services the same recognition within our profession as well as the wider general public, media, and even other clinical workers. Understanding our scope of practice and potential for growth and knowledge expansion is huge. Having worked across a multitude of sectors so far in my career (primary and urgent care, custody blocks, WMAS, private frontline and transport ambulance services, event medicine, and education) I have a basis of understanding of different roles and education and knowledge needed, but also the support required to be successful in those areas. With the lack of recognition comes road blocks for our progression, for example primary care paramedics and ACPs not being able to provide Fit Notes, struggling to get into prescribing courses, roles being underappreciated and misunderstood by other clinical partners that they are inefficient. 

I also believe many routes into paramedicine are outdated and rely too heavily on ambulance services to train and recruit newly qualified paramedics when those who have gained registrations should be supported in any clinical area they choose to work in the form of preceptorships. This limits recruitment of new paramedics to those who can apply for C1 and blue light driving courses when their skills could be utilised immediately in primary care or mental health services, for example. 

I aim to use my final two years addressing these concerns and putting on more CPD and meet ups for the West Midlands members and encourage you all to contact me with any needs, queries, or ideas to network and learn from each other to grow our profession.

Louise Whittaker MCPara

Yorkshire and the Humber Region

I have been a registered paramedic since 2002. I was one of the first paramedics to complete an MSc in advanced practice in 2011, and became a non-medical prescriber in 2021. My current role is Clinical Services Manager overseeing a team of clinical leaders and multi-disciplinary team of Physician Associates, advanced practitioners, nurses, and GPs. 

I manage services as diverse as Urgent Community Response across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield to Covid Medicines Delivery dispensing antiviral and monoclonal antibody medications to extremely vulnerable patients. We also have 2 Urgent Treatment Centres, a walk-in centre and the out of hours service for West Yorkshire. I act as Tactical Command for my organisation out of hours. 

As a Clinical Services Manager with a paramedic background, I have a strategic view of services commissioned by ICBs and have worked with NHSE. My primary focus is the nationally commissioned Urgent Community Response (UCR) delivering care to patients within 2 hours who are in a health or social crisis. I work across the NHS, third sector and local councils. I work closely with external stakeholders including paramedic colleagues. 

I am committed to continuing professional development and the promotion of the extensive skills of paramedics. I also recognise the challenges facing the profession ranging from mental health concerns to long waits at hospitals, funding pressures and retention of staff. Opportunities to specialise in critical and urgent care will help with this, as well as leading roles in community care but the profession needs credible and enthusiastic trailblazers to create the channels for communication and innovation. I believe that I can fulfil this role – I am an advocate for advanced practice roles and have worked hard to prove our collective skills to other healthcare professionals. 

As an experienced leader I can demonstrate integrity and can view the profession objectively, I have a sense of realism about the limitations many paramedics express concern about. It’s important to listen to those who occupy paramedic roles who are newly qualified, or approaching retirement in non-specialised roles, supporting them in undertaking their roles with dignity, equity and appropriate support.  

As a representative of the profession, I would expect to be accountable and open to constructive criticism and suggestions, a good listener and take time to understand the views of all members to encourage a sense of belonging. As a Fellow of the NHS Leadership Academy and a senior manager in my organisation I expect to show leadership and feel that I can demonstrate honesty and openness. 

Listening to members is crucial to understanding the challenges faced by paramedics from all backgrounds – considering their wellbeing and health, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, embracing diversity and learning about the places we all work across the UK. As a leader I expect to empower members to build relationships that support a multicultural society to reflect the places we work. 

I am professional, credible and enthusiastic. I feel that membership of the College is a crucial element in driving forward the interests of our profession and the patients we serve. 
Twitter @Louisewhittake7


Kevin Cowan

Eastern Region

My name is Kevin and I have been a paramedic since 2006 and in the ambulance service since 2001. During my time in what was then Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance Service and now East of England Ambulance Service I have progressed into many different roles and areas. 

After being in operational management as a Supervisor and a Leading Operations Manager I moved into training in 2017. This was both as an Educator and a Quality Lead for one of EEASTs regional training centres. 

My current role is as a Clinical Practice Specialist for Hertfordshire and West Essex. This role enables me to reach a large number of university students, clinicians of all grades, mangers and many other roles. I am also the link tutor for the University of Hertfordshire. 

My role enables important networking across the whole region, and I plan to use this to push the College and its passion for the development of the profession across EEAST. Networking with members is vital also and my role allows this on a daily basis so please if you see me stop for a chat about all things COP if you can. 

Education is my main passion and I hope to be able to further enhance the already excellent CPD opportunities that the College offers and to encourage student membership within the region. Alongside this I want to hear from members as to what they want with the direction of the College and how it can further the paramedic profession. 

One of my other passions is staff welfare and this is something I also hope to further the agenda and help develop even more support for all staff operational or non. 

I am really looking forward to the next two years as the Council Member for the Eastern Region and I look forward to meeting members, many discussions and representing you all. 



North East



Martin White MCPara

South West

My name is Martin and I am an experienced paramedic with a decade of practice in the field. I currently work as a tACP for SWAST, and as an ACP in out-of-hours. I am currently going through ACP accreditation with HEE via the e-portfolio. I have spent time in primary care and have been privileged to be part of several overseas trips as a medic on extreme sporting events and helicopter rotations. I bring a wealth of practical knowledge and expertise to the role. I am an independent prescriber and hold an MSc in Advanced Practice, Postgraduate Diploma in Enhanced Primary & Urgent Care Assessment and a Postgraduate Certificate in Critical Care.

I am proud to be selected as the Regional Representative for South West England and aim to be the voice of the members in the region. I am committed to articulating the needs and concerns of our members, ensuring their perspectives are heard and valued. I look forward to actively engaging with members and fostering relationships within the college community.

I am eager to participate in (CPD) events to allow members to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in paramedic practice. With a strong belief in the principles of objectivity, learning, teamwork, and driving the paramedic profession forward, I am dedicated to promoting a collaborative and progressive approach within the field. I value objectivity to ensure that decisions are made on the best available evidence.

My commitment to continuous learning fuels my desire to enhance skills and knowledge, allowing paramedics to stay at the forefront of advancements in paramedic care. I recognise the importance of teamwork and collaboration in achieving the common goals of the profession.

In my role as the Regional Representative, I hope to bring passion and dedication to foster positive change and growth within the paramedic profession. Through active involvement and contribution, I have confidence in elevating the profession and advocating for the needs of Paramedics in South West England. 


Ben Lyon MCPara

Military and Overseas

I qualified in September 2021 from Birmingham city university after taking a sabbatical from the Royal Marines to further my career in medicine. Since then, I have returned to full time service within the RM serving with Commando Logistic Regiment Medical Squadron. Prior to becoming a Paramedic, I spent 3 years at 45 CDO, 2 years as a Combat medic serving with 30 CDO Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron, 3 years with the Commando Logistic Regiment Medical Squadron, serving a total of 10 years. I have deployed to many extreme environments and am Desert, Artic and Jungle warfare trained, I have deployed as a member of a medical team and as a solo practitioner. In addition to my regular role, I am also a faculty member of World Extreme Medicine (WEM), regularly teaching medical professionals of all backgrounds the fundamentals of treating patients in extreme environments safely as well as most recently assisting with their 2022 conference in Edinburgh.  Indeed, these experiences will aid me in my role of the military and overseas representative due to having plenty of experience both within and outside of the military. Both have provided me with CPD opportunities, further enhancing my practice which I believe should be offered to the paramedics of the wider military.

I am passionate about pushing for a more inclusive Paramedic environment throughout the military, involving all 3 services, now the Royal Navy has an active Paramedic training program.  I would attend every meeting taking questions to the board from any/all members, ensuring that feedback both positive and negative was disseminated in a timely manner. I would also engage with members frequently, listening to any issues and voicing them on my colleague’s behalf, taking these issues to not only the College of paramedics but also the relevant military departments, therefore striving for positive change. In summary, I feel I would be a good representative for the military as I fully understand the frustrations and limitations placed on military Paramedics trying to fulfil our daily role and maintaining clinical hours to keep current, especially as currently the RM do not currently support the Paramedic qualification. In addition to this, I have 10 years of regular service, and feel I would be a good and reliable support to paramedics more junior in their military careers.


Mark Hall MCPara

East Midlands

I started my career within the military, beginning work as a RAF Medic in 2010. During this time I completed numerous overseas detachments and deployments. I joined West Midlands Ambulance Service in 2015, gaining paramedic registration in 2018 from Coventry University. Subsequently I continued my education gaining a BSc in Pre-Hospital and Emergency Care followed by a PG Cert in Pre-Hospital Critical Care from Warwick University. I transferred to East Midlands Ambulance Service as a Specialist Paramedic / Practitioner in 2022. Additionally, during this time, I volunteered to provide medical cover in numerous international arduous multi-stage sporting events, took on part-time roles lecturing at various universities and continued my military service within the reserves.

I’m looking forward to my first two years on the Paramedic Council representing the East Midlands Region. I hope to support the development of the paramedic progression pathway from BSc level onto advanced practice, in whatever setting that may be. Great strides have been made in this field in recent years and I hope to build upon this and support junior clinicians with potential career planning. I believe paramedics have fantastic real-world experience, in addition to excellent bedside manner and patient interaction; supporting this development would benefit both clinicians and patients.

Furthermore, the care and assistance given to clinicians following traumatic incidents is an area I feel strongly about. I hope to use my new position to empower college members to support each other, ask for help when appropriate and generally encourage a supportive environment amongst paramedics.

In summary, I hope to be an excellent representative to the paramedics of the East Midlands Region over the next two years. I am always contactable via email for any advice, assistance or support you require.  


Henry Agbor MCPara

London Region


Tom Goodwin MCPara

North West

My name is Tom, I have worked as a Paramedic since 2012. I have worked in a range of settings, as a Paramedic working in a busy City Centre before progressing to Senior Paramedic where I managed front line staff. I now work as an Advanced Paramedic in the North West of England providing face to face and remote clinical support to ambulance crews and responding to high acuity and complex incidents. I am also the clinical lead of a volunteer ambulance service and provide clinical policy and pathway development advice on a regional and national level. In the last 11 years I have worked in 2 NHS ambulance services, primary care, private practice and voluntary services so I have a broad understanding of the challenges Paramedics can face in different settings. I passionately believe there are some situations where a patient just needs a good paramedic and that our role is unique. I strongly believe that paramedics are crucial to the day to day working of the NHS and will become indispensable to the wider NHS workforce as the healthcare system becomes increasingly aware of our strengths and abilities as a profession.

I am keen to help the College of Paramedics and other organisations continue their amazing work of developing the paramedic profession and being an advocate for the best role in healthcare.

Twitter: @ParaTomG


Samantha Barry McPara

South East

Over the past 7 years of being a paramedic, I have worked in a variety of positions: from moving to the UK as a HCPC registered international paramedic in 2016, to qualifying as a Specialist Paramedic in 2021, and moving into the academic world, where I am currently working as a Senior Lecturer. This has allowed me to work in a range of clinical settings, including frontline ambulance, telephone triage (111), general practice / primary care, and minor injury units. Having experience in these separate areas allows me to understand the different knowledge and training needs, as well as staff wants and needs.

In my current roles, I have taught a range and empowered a range of colleagues: clinicians, non-clinicians, and students, through both undergoing and teaching CPD. Due to this I want to help create and organise good-quality CPD events, in a range of settings (virtual, in-person) to suit all of our members – respecting diversity. Emotional and welfare support is vital for all staff, especially due to the current working conditions of long ramping and call delays. I want to see the college address this as well as create more local welfare events.

I am extremely passionate about paramedic practice, in all areas. We are experienced and knowledgeable healthcare professionals and need to be recognised in these areas - #notallparamedicsweargreen. I would like to support COP to push more in alternative working areas to support paramedics working in all capacities – working in ways to improve and equalise paramedic roles – like prescribing controlled drugs, writing fit notes.

I am an honest and open individual, who truly wants to help and work with my colleagues. I believe I show many of the COP values in my daily working life. Honesty especially is extremely important in any individual in a trusted position.

I hope I am a good representative for the South East region. Please contact me for any advice or support I can offer.


Twitter: @parasam1


Peter Turner-Wells

Chair of Student Council 

Hello! My name is Peter Turner-Wells, and I have been fortunate enough to have served on the Student Council since January 2022 as the London Student Representative. I was since delighted to have been made Vice-Chair and was a great honour and a privilege to be voted in as the fourth chair of the Student Council.

One thing I am passionate about is being an advocate for everybody having a voice and opportunity to be able to express their opinion and fulfil their own professional and personal potential. I am a strong believer in actively listening to what I am being told; giving time to think about how ideas can be moulded so that they can be implemented, rather than thinking about the potential impracticality of them.

As Vice-chair of the Student Council I worked with the Chair and Council to build a stronger foundation through changes to the Council’s terms of reference, and the College’s bylaws.

Specifically for my region in London, I was involved in talks at my represented universities, liaised on a number of issues with our trust’s chief executive (including roping him in to come and give a talk to students at my university), and I worked closely with the Paramedic Council London rep to ensure we help make London the best it can be.

We are all empathetic diligent listeners, it’s part and parcel of our role, and I continue the traditions of previous Student Council Chairs of ensuring everybody has an equal opportunity to have their say. We all want to see the paramedic profession strive further than we could ever imagine, and I want to help us all collectively develop the profession.

Outside of being a student paramedic, I play a variety of contact sports, swim, and love the cinema. I have two doggos who certainly keep my family and I busy.