Meet the Paramedic Council

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Rory O'Connor

Rory O'Connor MCPara

Chair of Council

Rory was Interim Chair of Council from October 2020 to July 2021 and Representative Trustee for Northern Ireland from 2018. He currently works as an Advanced Paramedic in primary care. He previously qualified as a Paramedic in 2012, spending 7 years as an operational Paramedic with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. He has a BA Open Degree through the Open University, as well as a MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice (distinction). Rory recently completed a PGCert in Medicines Management which qualifies him as an Independent and Supplementary Prescriber and has a clinical interest in primary & urgent care, specifically palliative and end of life care.

Rory believes strongly in collective leadership and the empowerment of individuals and teams to achieve their potential, he has extensive experience in building relationships across organisational, departmental and professional boundaries. He is also experienced in developing and working in new roles, as well as working with others to achieve both individual and team goals and ensuring teamwork with varied individuals towards a common goal.

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Darran Griffiths MCPara

Wales 

I have been a member of the College since becoming a Paramedic 16 years ago, initially working on an emergency ambulance before moving onto the RRV. After this I worked as a Clinical Team Leader, I then worked on the 1st community practitioner trial which won a Bevan exemplar award and paved the way for our Advanced Paramedic Practitioners to rotate into the primary care environment. After this role I continued to work operationally as an APP while also taking on the role of an Educational Support Manager for 2 regions within Wales, supporting the paramedic transition from band 5 to 6 and also helping the newly qualified paramedics with their 2 year portfolios. I finished this role earlier this year and began the role of Senior Paramedic for Cwm Taf South, so far I have found this role very rewarding, especially assessing and supporting the frontline operational staff.  

As member representative for Wales I think it is vital for our members to have a voice within the College and I look forward to keeping Welsh members up to date with the current issues being discussed and promoting the College’s vision and strategic direction, cascading all relevant information from the College and assisting in taking CPD sessions to Wales. I very much support the adoption of the 8 principles addressing the diversity deficit and the 7 principles of public life. I would hope to work with my ambulance trust to also achieve this. 

I have always tried to be a positive role model, my CPD has needed to be up to date at all times, as encouraging and supporting others with this is important to what I am trying to achieve. I also have regular discussions with ambulance colleagues, talking about the current issues surrounding our profession, and I encourage debate on how we evolve and adapt to overcome these issues and enhance our profession.  

I feel the work, aims and ethos of the College is very good and promote these with every opportunity, encouraging all the new paramedics to join at their earliest convenience. 
I have enjoyed building good relationships with external partners and stakeholders in my work roles and look forward to doing this further representing the College. 

 
 
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Daniel Irvine MCPara 

Scotland

 
 
 
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Adrian McGrath MCPara

Northern Ireland

Hello, I hope you are well in body mind and spirit in these difficult times as you read this? It’s a pleasure to be the next representative for Northern Ireland. I want to thank those before me. Andrew McFarland. Ciaran McKenna and of course Rory O’Connor and Frank Armstrong for his Education input to the College. Apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone. Thank you for laying the foundations. I guess I’m referred to as an old fashioned down in the dust Paramedic. Been with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service from 1998 starting out as PCS, EMT and Paramedic from 2004 IHCD route. I’ve worked the DCA and was on an RRV for 11 years before moving to the Clinical Support Desk in late 2020. Worked three waves of Covid and see now the essential impact and stresses of Emergency Amb Control and stresses of staff globally across Northern Ireland. I’ve also been Clinical District Lead for St John Ambulance in NI until this year where I stepped back to purse other interests. 

My passions are many but primarily I enjoy seeing others grow, mature and awaken their abilities in this clinical sector of Pre Hospital Care. To bring out the best in people is a wonderful experience. Northern Ireland has always lagged behind the UK even since I started in NIAS. Change is happening and innovation is starting to move in the right direction. Through the college and it’s supportive functions I hope to support and continue this as the Amb trust here steps up to the challenge of progressive roles here for my colleagues. I’m also here for those Paramedics who work outside of NIAS. In the private sector, prisons, and GP clinics. Thank you for what you do. 

As the first batch of BSC students has begun their Paramedic-course in the Ulster University here, I look forward to engaging and supporting them as they go live in the coming months and years. Good luck all. I hope to endeavour to progress my own experience with the relevant Degree pathway in the near future, until then I’ve experience, joy and innovation to offer you all as our paths meet. I as your college representative will endeavour to push boundaries and elevate the Paramedic voice as a career that everyone can be proud of. 
Thank you. 
Adrian McGrath

 
 
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Gema Mee MCPara  

West Midlands Region

 
 
 
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James Stubley

James Stubley MCPara

Yorkshire and the Humber Region

I started my career in the ambulance service in 2003, qualifying as an IHCD Paramedic in 2008 with South Yorkshire Ambulance Service, now Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS). In 2013 I became an Operational Clinical Supervisor. In April 2015, I undertook a secondment as a HEMS Paramedic with Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which became substantive from April 2017. Since 2018 I have been an Associate Lecturer with Sheffield Hallam University, supporting their BSc student paramedic program. In 2021 I joined the team at the university full-time as a Senior Lecturer. I continue my prehospital work and maintain a HEMS bank contract.

I have both a FdSc and a BSc (Hons) in paramedic science both via Teesside University. Furthering my education and supporting my practice I have commenced post graduate education, completing relevant modules of study. I am also a Resuscitation Council (UK) ALS and EPALS Instructor and an NLS provider. In addition to my work with YAS/YAA, furthering my prehospital experience, I have a contract with East Midlands Ambulance Service in which I respond from home as well as being a long-standing volunteer operational member of Edale Mountain Rescue Team since 1998.

I am passionate about continual development, both personal and sharing information with professional colleagues, regularly attending and hosting CPD sessions and events. As a professional membership organisation I truly believe we have a wealth of varying experience to be captured and shared, which will enable us to progress our ever changing paramedic profession for the future.

What is your one most important benefit of being a member and why?
For me personally as well as being a member of our rapidly developing professional body, the fitness to practice insurance is a massive benefit particularly with the voluntary work I undertake.

What led you to become a College member representative?
Since qualifying as a paramedic I have supported the profession. I am a strong believer that paramedics should steer the paramedic profession. “Paramedics” do the job in our ever increasing areas of practice and should direct the future of the profession, supported by other allied health professionals from specific areas of practice. It is very easy to get frustrated with any profession, however, I feel the right approach is to get involved and help collectively develop and shape the future. This is why I got involved as a representative, the College is the only group truly focussed on only the profession and how we can benefit patient care.

How would you like to see the College develop over the next five years?
To engage and represent the widely diverse paramedic profession, supporting all areas of practice. To be the driving force for the profession in emergency and urgent care for the future.

How do you think the paramedic workforce has adapted to professional status and what yet needs to be done to support paramedics?
As a profession, gaining our status was a big step for paramedics. This brought a number of collective benefits, but not necessarily for the individual. We need to be mindful of this and support all areas in which our members practice. I think we need to continue to listen to our members and their requirements, this can only have a positive impact, recently this has proved significantly beneficial with the continuer fitness to practise insurance and the ever increasing accessible CPD.

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Graham Clark

Graham Clark MCPara

Eastern Region

Graham is the member representative for the Eastern region area and has been a member of the College since the start of his career in 2010 as a student paramedic with London Ambulance Service. He moved to the East of England Ambulance Service as a qualified paramedic in 2013 and became more involved with the College, being initially elected as Alternate for East of England area. This was an opportunity to find his feet within this rapidly evolving organisation and understand the basics of its management structure and strategic aims.

At the National Conference in 2016 it was announced that Graham had been successfully elected as Representative Trustee and he embraced the opportunity to lead a region which at the time represented 365 full members. The region now has over 1,600 full members and a region Facebook page with 1,355 followers and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, an annual regional conference attracting members from across the East of England and beyond. Graham is a regular feature at universities as well as regional and national conferences, volunteering his time to promote membership within the profession and engage with existing and potential members.

As a paramedic Graham has had a number of exciting roles within the last few years including the Hazardous Area Response Team, Emergency Department Paramedic and more recently a Recruitment Specialist within the East of England Ambulance Service. From July 2021 Graham will commence his new role within EEAST as a Leading Operations Manager for East and North Hertfordshire.

Graham is extremely passionate about his responsibilities as a member representative for the College of Paramedics. 2021-2022 is Graham’s final year in this position and is keen to hear from anyone aspiring to become the next Council Member to support and mentor during his remaining time in post. He has and aims to continue to be involved in the College of Paramedics National Conference committee and Diversity Steering Group where he leads on the LGBTQ+ strand. 

 
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Nicholas Groom

Nicholas Groom MCPara

South East Region

I’ve worked in a number of roles in healthcare for the last six years, initially working within patient transport and working my way up to where I am now in education in research. 

I’ve worked as a Paramedic in and out of hospital for both NHS and private/ voluntary organisations and now settled working for both Oxford Brookes University and the South-Central Ambulance Service research team. 

I’ve been sponsored to study level seven modules and in the future want to complete my masters but focus on end of life care and supporting Paramedics to deliver the best care these patients possible. 

As a trustee I wanted to continue the work of my predecessors and help to continue to support the development of individual Paramedics and the profession as a whole. 

What is your one most important benefit of being a member and why?

Membership of the College makes you a part of a growing voice for the Paramedic profession that has been a massive factor driving the development of the profession. As a unified group, we’re able to have a far greater influence over where Paramedic practice goes in the future. 

What led you to become a member representative?

I’ve been interested in being more involved with the College since I was a student because we had a few people on the board at my university, seeing their passion for pushing the boundaries of paramedic practice and maintain the pace of our professions development has, in turn, motivated me to become more involved. As a member representative, I’m also able to provide CPD in the area which allows me to be more hands on and support the delivery of high-quality care across the region. 

How would you like to see the College develop over the next five years?

I’d like to see the College become more integrated with our members employers and play a larger strategic role in the growth of the ambulance service and Paramedic profession. 

How do you think the paramedic workforce has adapted to professional status and what yet needs to be done to support paramedics?

I think that since we first registered with the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine; as a profession, we’ve embraced this as a positive move it’s helped to strengthen us a group but also as one of the allied health professions. Combined with developments like the PEEP report and prescribing we’ve grown as a profession as a result. 

I think at the moment we need to build on the way we as a body support the wellbeing of our colleagues while supporting employers to promote staff wellbeing as well while also supporting members experiencing fitness to practice investigations while embracing a culture of openness and learning from incidents. This helps support the profession while we take the next steps to keep growing. 

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James Gardener

James Gardener MCPara

South West Region

I am a graduate paramedic from Plymouth university. My primary occupation is as an operational paramedic with South Western Ambulance Service working in and around Bristol. I was a student member of the College, becoming a full member when I qualified in 2016. I was appointed as a trustee in June 2018. Alongside my regular duties as a paramedic I am also a pPED, staff representative and Time to Care champion. I really enjoy my participation in these roles, as I am passionate about paramedic education and service improvement.

In my spare time I am also a British Red Cross paramedic and attend events across the country. This voluntary role is extremely satisfying due to the varied nature of event medicine and the opportunity to work with an incredible network of volunteers. Otherwise, I have a keen interest in the outdoors and enjoy spending my time away from working exploring the world around us.

What is your one most important benefit of being a member and why?

As a member of the College of paramedics I am able to actively participate in the development of my profession by democratically engaging with the College’s activity. As a member of my professional body my voice on matters directly and in directly related to paramedic practice is stronger when advocated by the College’s representatives with the backing of the wider College.

What led you to become a member representative?

My main motivation to become a trustee is a passion to be part of the driving force behind the development of the paramedic profession. As a member representative I would like to represent the members and be a conduit from the college to them. Supporting members to take full advantage of membership benefits like CPD activities and advocate their interests on a national stage.

How would you like to see the College develop over the next five years?

I was exceptionally fortunate to become a trustee at such an exciting time for the College. The College has just achieved a great milestone for the profession with paramedic prescribing. The College is ever present in the media and at national advisory groups presenting the interests of the membership body. I am excited to see further development and uniform adoption of the Colleges career framework to cement paramedic advanced practice within the UK healthcare network. Ultimately, I want to see the continued growth of the College and strong member representation.

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Scott Howie MCPara

Military and Overseas

I started my career within the Royal Air Force in 2007 as a RAF Medic providing occupational and primary Care to military personnel and their families, emergency airfield cover and pre-hospital emergency care both within the UK and overseas. It was then that I also joined the RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) providing Aircraft Post Crash Management (APCM) and assisting civilian MRT’s and Police Scotland with civilian search and rescues.

I then went onto study Paramedic Science at Coventry University, funding by the RAF in 2011. Since qualifying as a paramedic, I have had many varied roles. I have worked within Mountain Rescue in Scotland, provided primary and pre-hospital emergency care in various locations throughout the world including Afghanistan, Romania, USA, Cyprus and France, conducted Aeromedical Evacuations from worldwide locations and more recently I have been in command of the RAF paramedic Clinical Hub based within London Ambulance Service.

I am an Instructor for the Defence Medical Academy, teaching on their Battlefield Advanced Life Support (BATLS) course and Major Incident Medical Management & Support (MIMMS) course, I am also an Instructor for the British Association of Immediate Care (BASICS) teaching on their bespoke and Pre-hospital Emergency Care Courses (PHECC).

As the Military and Overseas Representative, I hope to bring together opportunities for both the Military and Civilian sectors to learn from each other, sharing best practice and experiences. I also look forward to getting to know our Overseas members and the wide range of locations and jobs that they work in to ensure the College remains relevant to their practice and that all areas of paramedic practice work together to support one another. 

As the Military and Overseas Representative, I hope to bring together opportunities for both the Military and Civilian sectors to learn from each other, sharing best practice and experiences. I also look forward to getting to know our Overseas members and the wide range of locations and jobs that they work in to ensure the College remains relevant to their practice and that all areas of paramedic practice work together to support one another.

 
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David Huckin MCPara

East Midlands Region

David is a frontline paramedic with East Midlands Ambulance Service, having started as a CFR in 2013 before working up through the organisation from trainee technician to paramedic after completing his FdSc with distinction at Coventry University in 2019. His study does not end there however as he wishes to complete an MSc in critical care and move to become a HEMS paramedic. Alongside his frontline work David also holds a Motorsport UK Licence and often works trackside at Silverstone Circuit in the Midlands, where he is an operational paramedic and a member of clinical mentorship team. He is also a part of the local immunisations team for his NHS foundation trust administering vaccines across various schools in the region. Despite all the above work he also likes to keep himself busy working with one of the largest private medical events companies in the UK. His experience includes looking after premiership and national sports teams, acting as Bronze Commander at major music events and TV filming work. Within the organisation itself he is one of the lead practitioners writing and delivering training across the company and is a member of the clinical governance group.

David’s first career was not in medicine but education and he currently holds a BEd Sci in Secondary Science with Hons and Qualified Teacher status. David spent 15 years in education where the majority of his work was on a consultancy basis working with leadership teams to get schools out of special measures. He still has active involvement in the education sector where he is on the governing body for four schools of which he is chair for three of these.  He also engages with other schools in the trust sitting on panels for staff disciplinary hearings or student exclusions. 

David is very excited about working with the College and is looking forward to engaging with projects to develop the role of paramedicine and become a voice for the hardworking frontline staff in his region.

 
 
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Jonathan Street MCPara 

London Region

I’m an enthusiastic Paramedic who has spent the past ten years working in a variety of clinical and teaching roles in the private, voluntary and public sectors. Whether creating engaging CPD events as London Representative or focusing projects and attention on the needs of Students, I pride myself on being conscientious, honest and creative for the benefit of our membership.  From working in multi-disciplinary teams, I see value in offering constructive challenges and am unsettled when things can be done better. 

It is clear that The College of Paramedics has experienced tremendous growth and development in recent years. Building on the successive efforts of visionary clinicians and determined volunteers, our profession has diversified and entered an exciting stage of maturation. It has been increasingly empowered and enabled to lift the voice of the paramedics it represents to corners of government, healthcare and society like never before.  
Our full members have repeatedly demonstrated the unique aptitude, initiative and care that Paramedics can bring to all environments. Enthusiastic student members continually demonstrate a greater and greater thirst for knowledge and momentum into career progression. Volunteers from all walks of life and Associate Health Professional colleagues, also join our ranks as Associates to add their names to an organisation which values the best of urgent and emergency care. 
More than any one person, The College is the sum of its parts; a tenacious collective of humanitarians, problem solvers and innovators. It has rapidly changed from a group of enthusiasts to a membership organisation with international credentials. 

As member representative for London I believe our Paramedic Council is that lynchpin which gives the Board of Trustees its legitimacy. I enjoy contributing to the Council, exercising its collective responsibility with the sincerity, discretion and bravery this requires. Each time our members look to the College for guidance they must be assured of the integrity of their College. Whether members are accessing publications, making office enquires or seeking regional contact, cohesive communication with members is essential – this is a particular focus as we move into business as usual.    

I currently work in a GP Practice in central London and undertake regular shifts with the London Ambulance Service. Please do drop me a line via Jonathan.street@collegeofparamedics.co.uk and keep an eye out for our regional updates. 

 
 
 
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Jon Price MCPara

North West Region

I work as the Clinical Effectiveness Lead for North West Ambulance Service. This role looks at clinical performance standards, clinical guidelines and pathway governance. I ensure that clinicians across the organisation have the right tools to be able to treat their patients to the best of their ability. I work operationally as an Advanced Paramedic, having completed my MSc Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Bolton in 2019. Prior to this role, I was an Advanced Paramedic in Greater Manchester, Senior Paramedic and Paramedic in various locations across the North West, and Yorkshire prior to that. I also have a BSc (hons) in Professional Paramedic Practice from Edge Hill University and a Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science from the University of Teesside. 

I have particular interests in clinical performance standards, clinical supervision and clinical leadership, having spent a large proportion of my recent educational study looking at leadership methodology and quality improvement. I believe that well led people, operating in safe clinical environments can delivery outstanding care to patients, and I hope to bring these skills to my new role within the College. 

Having the voice of the profession from within the North West represented nationally is my primary aim, wherever you work as a Paramedic and from whatever professional background you come from. I look forward to working with you all! 

 
 
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Paul Thomson-Elliott MCPara

North East Region

I have enjoyed a varied career within the world of paramedicine which includes: NHS ambulance paramedic, educational officer (NHS trust), expedition medic, urgent care practitioner and finally, senior lecturer in Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care at the University of Sunderland where I teach clinical assessments skills and have a keen focus on medical immersive simulation and student welfare. My current role has enabled me to actively contribute to the development of paramedic education within the North East region.  I am active in ensuring we meet the needs of aspiring future paramedics, positively engaging with stakeholders such as the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and future employers alike, ensuring a graduate ready workforce suitable for today’s needs; not just within an NHS ambulance service but all aspects of paramedic practice. This experience and knowledge has afforded me insight into what the requirements of the region which are predominantly focusing on widening participation and providing local opportunities within the community.  This widening of participation is not just within initial undergraduate education but includes access to postgraduate education and opportunities to develop within the field of paramedicine, enabling paramedics to pursue career opportunities previously only open to medical physicians and nurses.     

I am excited at the possibility of being able to represent my region at a national level.  I aim to do my utmost to ensure the views and needs of the North East are well represented in the Colleges strategic vision for the future. This position will enable me to promote excellence and help shape the future of the paramedic profession, not only within my own region but throughout the United Kingdom. By building upon connections with members within my region and developing new member groups and networks I will be able to effectively articulate and advocate the voice of the College member’s perspective.  

 
 
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Ben Vickars

Chair of Student Council

Ben is the current chair of the newly formed Student Council, and is a student at St George’s, University of London on their pre-registration Paramedic Science course. Alongside his current degree study, Ben has worked in UK ambulance services since 2016, starting as a first responder before moving into an ECA role. Additionally, he has worked with paediatric intensive care retrieval teams in and around the south of England.

Ben has worked with the College since July 2019 as the national student representative, providing the College with the student paramedic viewpoint into multiple areas of work ranging from education and board level strategic work to national Covid-19 response strategy.

As the chair of the national student council, Ben works with the regional representatives to respond to student enquiries and concerns, provide a voice of students to various organisations and College teams, and additionally engages team members in developing the pre-registration student paramedic pathway.