Statement on Increasing of Membership Fees

19/08/2022



It is important that the College continues to be financially sustainable into the future to ensure reliable and visible leadership of the profession. As a membership organisation we are largely reliant on all members continuing to support our work in representing the profession. As such, we wish to express our sincere thanks for your continued membership enabling the College to represent your voice collectively with policy makers across the UK.  

It will come as little surprise to you that the current cost of living impacts upon us all, both personally and professionally, and the operational costs of running the College are no different. Whilst we understand that any price increases are never good news, we have held off changes through the last two years. Unfortunately, however, with increased inflation and operating costs continuing to rise in the UK, we have had to make the very tough decision to increase our membership fees. This has been led by a task and finish group from our Council and approved by Congress. The increase will come into effect on 1st October 2022. This adjustment – our first since 2017 – equates to a monthly breakdown of an extra £1 for Students, £1.67 for Associate Members and £3.50 for Full Members. This increase will only take effect from your personal membership annual renewal date with the College. Whilst we appreciate and understand that this is an extremely challenging time for our members, and indeed all healthcare professionals, to ensure that the current benefits of membership are maintained, that the College continues to evolve and excel, and that the organisation increases in its reach and resilience, we must take meaningful steps to stabilise and protect our financial position in order to continue to support the profession. 

We remain committed to providing you with the very best professional support services, offering access to a multitude of learning resources, representing you in all matters affecting your clinical practice and supporting you to achieve the highest possible standards of patient care. 

Further details will be shared within the forthcoming weeks as we communicate more around the increase, and the College will be wholly transparent in why the fees need to change and how your money will be spent. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please visit our FAQs on our website

Thank you again for the commitment and support you have shown the College of Paramedics. Our organisation is strong because of you and your continued support. 
 
 On behalf of the College of Paramedics 
 
Tracy Nicholls FCPara
Chief Executive
 
Jon Price MCPara
North West Council Member and Chair of the Fee Task and Finish Group

Dr John Martin FCPara
President
 

JCVI Publishes Advice on COVID-19 Vaccines for Autumn Booster Programme

16/08/2022



The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published its advice on which COVID-19 vaccines should be used in this year’s autumn booster programme.

All of the available boosters provide good protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and the Committee has emphasised that getting a booster in good time before the winter season is more important for those eligible than the type of vaccine that is received.

The vaccines advised for use in the autumn booster programme are:

For adults aged 18 years and above:

Moderna mRNA (Spikevax) bivalent Omicron BA.1/Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine
Moderna mRNA (Spikevax) Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine
Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA (Comirnaty) Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine
In exceptional circumstances, the Novavax Matrix-M adjuvanted wild-type vaccine (Nuvaxovid) may be used when no alternative clinically suitable UK-approved COVID-19 vaccine is available

For people aged 12 to 17 years:

Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA (Comirnaty) Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine

For people aged 5 to 11 years:

Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA (Comirnaty) Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine paediatric formulation

‘Bivalent’ vaccines have been developed by global manufacturers since the emergence and dominance of the Omicron variant. These vaccines contain two different antigens (substances that induce an immune response) based on two different COVID-19 strains, or variants. The original mRNA vaccines contain one antigen (monovalent), based on the original ‘wild-type’ strain.

Studies indicate the Moderna bivalent vaccine produces a marginally higher immune response against some variants than the Moderna mRNA Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine. The clinical relevance of these small differences is uncertain.

The committee will consider further bivalent vaccines for use in the programme as they are approved by the MHRA.

In its latest advice the JCVI has stated that, where feasible, it would be preferable for a single type of booster vaccine to be offered throughout the duration of the autumn programme for simplicity of deployment.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 immunisation on the JCVI, said:

“All of the available booster vaccines offer very good protection against severe illness from COVID-19. As more vaccines continue to be developed and approved, the JCVI will consider the benefits of including them in the UK programme.

“It is important that everyone who is eligible takes up a booster this autumn, whichever vaccine is on offer. This will increase your protection against being severely ill from COVID-19 as we move into winter.”

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said:

“Although cases of COVID-19 are relatively low at present, we are expecting to see the virus circulating more widely during the winter months.

“The booster is being offered to those at higher risk of severe illness and by taking up the booster vaccine this autumn, you will increase your protection ahead of the winter months, when respiratory viruses are typically at their peak.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: 

“I have accepted the independent advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on which vaccines should be offered in this autumn’s booster programme. This includes a Moderna bivalent vaccine which will target two different variants – the Omicron and original strain of Covid.

“Vaccines remain our best defence against Covid, and this safe and effective vaccine will broaden immunity and potentially improve protections against some variants as we learn to live with this virus.

“Our vaccine rollout to date has been world leading – it has already saved countless lives and reduced the pressure on the NHS.

“We will begin to contact those eligible from early September, and I would urge people to come forward as soon as they are invited so together we can keep each safe and protect our NHS.”
 

NHS England will confirm details on how and when eligible people can access the autumn booster vaccine in due course.
 
 

 
 

e-Learning Feedback

15/08/2022


The College of Paramedics/Health Education England/e-Learning for Healthcare project has been providing bite sized online CPD for paramedics and ambulance staff since 2017.  

We have just launched a user feedback survey. Please can you encourage as many of your contacts as possible to give us feedback, whether or not they are members of the College and whatever their role. The e-learning is aimed predominantly at paramedics but all NHS staff are able to use it. It is particularly useful for those who work alongside paramedics such as Paramedic Students and Apprentices, Emergency Care Assistants, Emergency Care Support Workers and Emergency Medical Technicians
 
We are particularly keen to hear from Newly Qualified Paramedics as our intention is to expand the site to provide further sessions which help newly registered paramedics to embed their pre-registration learning in practice. We know we have some gaps to fill and we would like our users to help guide the development of the project as much as possible.
 
You can find the survey through the link below. It is open from 1 August to 30 September 2022 and can be completed on a mobile device, laptop or PC. Please share as widely as possible.
 
You can access the survey at http://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/Component/Details/763252 
 
On twitter please use this link:  https://twitter.com/ParamedicsUK/status/1554748499102732288  
 


 

Video Produced by the Department of Health and Social Care Encourages Eligible People to Come Forward for Monkeypox Vaccination

05/08/2022


The Department of Health and Social Care has produced a new video to encourage eligible people to come forward for monkeypox vaccination. 
 
In the video, Dr Rachael Jones, a sexual health consultant at Chelsea and Westminster hospital explains who will be offered the vaccine, how people will be contacted and why it’s important to get vaccinated.

 




The College of Paramedics Would Like to Introduce Its New Trustee for Professional Standards and Latest Appointment to the Paramedic Council

27/07/2022



Today, the College of Paramedics would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Trustee for Professional Standards, Fauziya Lakhi, and new Eastern member representative, Helen Hardy.

Six candidates stood for the Professional Standards Trustee position while three candidates put themselves forward for the Eastern member representative role.

Fauziya said: “I’m delighted to join the College as a Trustee (Professional Standards). The College has already done some brilliant work on professional development and I’m excited to build upon this, particularly working on leadership development and paramedic wellbeing to ensure a supportive environment for all members.

“I decided to stand for election as a Trustee as I couldn’t see myself represented in the organisation’s governance – and I’m so glad I did! I hope this encourages other under-represented members to get involved as well.”

Helen admitted it was a real privilege to have been chosen to represent members from across the Eastern region on the Paramedic Council.

She said: “I'm hoping to work with the outgoing member representative, Graham Clark, over the next few weeks during the handover period and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his commitment to the College and members whilst he's been in this role.”

Helen added: “I'll be networking across the area and invite you to contact me to say hello and suggest ways that the College can support you. 
“I'll be listening and speaking on your behalf.  Thank you once again for your confidence in me as your new representative and I look forward to serving you in the East and contributing to the development of our exciting profession.”

In addition to the Professional Standards Trustee position, full members also had the opportunity to stand as Trustees for Research, Membership and Communication, Education and Honorary Treasurer.
In the cases of Research and Membership and Communication, the election was uncontested so the incumbents, Georgette Eaton (Research) and Richard Webber (Membership and Communication) continue in their respective roles for a second and final term until 2024.

Vince Clarke, the existing Trustee for Education won the vote and will also continue in the role until 2024.

Unfortunately, there were no candidates for the position of Honorary Treasurer, but we hope this will change when we go out for candidates again this week. 
Full members of the College of Paramedics are eligible to stand as a candidate to be a Trustee when a position becomes available. Trustee candidates are voted on by Congress members, meaning both the Board of Trustees and the Paramedic Council.

As the governing body of the College of Paramedics, the Board of Trustee is legally responsible for the College as a charity, they have an oversight role and seek assurance from the Chief Executive that the organisation is legally and financially sound and complying with its charitable purpose, outlined in the College charitable objects. Individual Trustees also have portfolio responsibilities of providing constructive and supportive critical observation of specified College workstreams.

The Paramedic Council is the collective voice for the members and the communities they represent, ensuring that the members’ voice is ever-present in shaping the strategic direction and vision of the College. The Council, which has representatives from across the UK, also plays a leading role in helping to build on the College’s existing work and future of the profession. 


 
 

Announcing the Recipients of our 2022 Honours & Awards

25/07/2022


The College of Paramedics is today delighted to announce the recipients of this year’s Honours and Competitive Awards and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to them all.

In the category of Fellowship, the award goes to Richard Lee. To be recognised as a Fellow of the College of Paramedics, recipients need to have made an outstanding contribution to the achievement of the College and the paramedic profession. And Richard is a perfect example of this.

Currently, the Chief Operating Officer for St John Ambulance, Richard, has been a paramedic for the last 27 years and admits he couldn’t be prouder about being awarded a fellowship. 

He said: “Ever since I qualified as a paramedic in 1995 I have been lucky enough to meet people, visit places, see things and have experiences that I never imagined I would have. This Fellowship Award is a real honour for me but I hope my crewmates, colleagues, mentors, fellow medical professionals and patients will all accept a part of it. Thank you to the College of Paramedics and here is to the future of our great profession. These are difficult times but I am very proud to be a small part in the world of paramedicine.”

There are two awards in the Companionship category, with both individuals, Carl Smith and Jacqueline O’Neill, each having made a distinctive contribution to the paramedic profession. For this award the recipient’s professional achievements may not be exclusively in paramedicine. 

Carl is an Advanced Paramedic in Critical Care with East of England Ambulance Service and also an on-call firefighter with over 25 years experience and an associate tutor at the University of East Anglia.

He said: “It was such a surprise when the College contacted me, informing me that I had won this award in recognition of my joint work as a paramedic and a firefighter. It has been a privilege to have worked for the Fire and Rescue Service and Ambulance Service for 25 years and it has given me a unique understanding of the strengths and benefits both services have to offer, bringing them together to deliver care to the public we serve. I am extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of the colleagues who have supported me.”

Jacqueline, a paramedic and Community Resuscitation Development Officer with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, is equally delighted with her award.

“I am honoured to be named as Companion of the College of Paramedics, in recognition of my work as a paramedic and an educator,” she says.

“I am both delighted and humbled to be acknowledged in this way by my peers, and in receiving this recognition, I wish to acknowledge all my ambulance service colleagues and Community First Responder volunteers here in Northern Ireland who work every day to save lives and help those most in need of our care.”

She added: “As a paramedic and Community Resuscitation Development Officer I am passionate about continuing to develop access to educational opportunities for everyone, in a bid to increase survival rates of those who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, as well as supporting the further advancement of the paramedic profession.”

The Student of the Year Award this year goes to Chloe Keeping. This award is given in recognition of outstanding effort made by a pre-registration paramedic student in their final year of study, nominated by their course lecturers. 

Chloe, who has just finished her Paramedic Science course at the University of Lincoln, always wanted to work as a healthcare professional but because she enjoys working in different environments and meeting new people, she knew the ambulance service and being a paramedic would be the perfect fit for her.

On winning her award, she said: “This has come as a massive surprise to me. The feedback I have had from the committee means a great deal to me ahead of qualifying. I would also like to send massive thanks to the University of Lincoln Paramedic programme team, especially the programme lead Sarah Christopher, for their ongoing support over the last three years and well done to all other nominees." 

The Roland Furber Award this year is awarded to Ed Griffiths, an Advanced Search and Rescue Paramedic with Bristow Helicopters Ltd on behalf of HM Coastguard. With his role involving aviation, rescue and clinical elements, Ed admits the thing he loves most about his job is the diversity.

He said: “It could be a maritime, coastal, mountain or an inland rescue. We often work alone in austere environments with critically ill or injured patients – undertaking clinical care within aviation and rescue considerations. This involves making decisions on compromise to achieve the best overall outcome.”

The recipients of the Roland Furber Award are qualified paramedics who have submitted an outstanding clinical case study of an incident they attended. 

While Ed admitted that his win was ‘unexpected’ he said it was a ‘real honour’ and that he was ‘totally thrilled’ to be recognised by the College. His clinical study was about a trauma incident involving a kitesurfer.

The judges on the Honours and Competitive Awards Committee were equally impressed with the standard of entries for the Carol Furber Award, whereby recipients have to be pre-registration paramedic students who submit an outstanding reflective case study of an incident they attended.

This year’s recipient, Orfhlaith McNulty, who is currently studying for her MSc in Paramedic Science at the University of Huddersfield said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award from the College of Paramedics for my reflective piece which was about an incident of central chest pain. I would like to say a huge thank you to Sakina Waller, my personal academic tutor, for supporting me with my entry and to Suzanne Lait who has been a wonderful mentor and friend during my time on placement.”

The final award this year is the Dr John Hinds Scholarship Award which goes to Barry Costello. The recipients of this award are pre-hospital responders in Ireland who have submitted an outstanding clinical case study of an incident they attended. Barry’s clinical study was about an incident of gunshot wounds to the lower extremities.

“To be a recipient of the Dr John Hinds Scholarship Award is a great honour, and one I will be forever thankful for,” says Barry, who qualified as a paramedic in 2020 and now works for Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

“I started out in St. John ambulance west Belfast division in 2016 doing First Aid at the motorbike racing where the Motorcycle Union of Ireland’s medical team (the team John was a part of) would operate, and it was there I first learned what a great person he was, the impact he had on others, and the passion he brought to his craft, and care of patients. Whilst I never met him, I was inspired by Dr John Hinds’ example, and passion for prehospital care, and partly why I pushed on to become a paramedic. 

“I am particularly interested in critical care, and as such I am very excited to be undertaking the Anaesthesia Trauma and Critical Care (ATACC) course later this year. I am also looking forward to having my case study published in the College of Paramedics’ Insight magazine for others to read.”

Speaking about all the nominations for this year’s awards, Chair of the Honours and Awards Committee, Bob Fellows, said: “Being Chair is a significant privilege and the whole committee loves to read the accolades from those who nominate their friends and colleagues for an ‘Honour.’ The applications this year were of a particularly high standard and the committee most definitely had their work cut out making their selections.”  

A special celebratory afternoon tea will take place on September 29 at the International Convention Centre Wales ICC which will be attended by all the recipients and those who nominated them.

To find out more about the Honours & Awards click here
 
 

The Success of International Paramedics Day 2022

25/07/2022



International Paramedics Day: What a day of celebration for paramedics, first responders and anyone working in pre-hospital care around the globe! We came together as one and told the world why we’re proud to be paramedics.

As well as celebrating the vital role that paramedics play in supporting people's mental and physical wellbeing, often in the most challenging of circumstances, the day itself was a chance to promote and raise awareness about the many different settings paramedics now work in including primary and secondary care, GP surgeries, research, education, military, offshore, helicopter emergency medical services and telephone triage systems.

With the help of our 40 partners, across 18 countries, International Paramedics Day became a buzzword on social media on July 8 as student paramedics, paramedics, first responders, ambulance trusts, higher education institutions and affiliated organisations from around the world joined forces to make the day a huge global success on social media.

There were celebrity endorsements from the likes of Love Island’s Dr Alex George, former Strictly star AJ Pritchard and new Health Secretary Steve Barclay, not to mention global media coverage from CNN, BBC, ITV, Sun Live New Zealand, Buzz Radio Texas, Star Weekly Australia and CBS.

The level of engagement we saw @ParamedicsUK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter was unprecedented for the College and at one point #ProudToBeAParamedic and #InternationalParamedicsDay were both trending respectively in third and fourth position on Twitter.

And who can forget the blooper video from Luton paramedics, Dave Tamarro and Joe Cartwright as they tried to explain what it was like to do their jobs but were overcome with uncontrollable laughter. It was number one on the BBC and ITV video news pages.

None of this would have been possible, however, without your support and participation so THANK YOU. Our aim was always to make International Paramedics Day a real moment of pride and joy for the profession and hopefully, you’ll agree, we achieved that.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at all the amazing videos and images sent in from paramedics here in the UK and abroad then why not head to www.internationalparamedicsday.com and check them out while you still have time.

College of Paramedics to host Emergency Services Mental Health Symposium event for 2022

25/07/2022



In November 2021, senior leaders from the Emergency Service came together at the inaugural symposium hosted by the Royal Foundation to make a landmark commitment to adopt a uniform approach to supporting the mental health of their emergency responder workforce.

This year, the College of Paramedics, in collaboration with other emergency service organisations will be hosting the ‘one year on’ event. The 2022 symposium will be held on the 23rd and 24th of November at Silverstone Race Circuit. The event promises to be the highlight of the year in terms of supporting all of our 999 responders' mental health and wellbeing, and a unique opportunity to come together to showcase the progress that has been made since last November and the signing of the Mental Health at Work Commitment by all.

If you have any suggestions or experience of any wellbeing support work that you feel would be important to consider for inclusion in the programme for this symposium then please email all details to wellbeingsymposium@collegeofparamedics.co.uk. Similarly, if you would like to be the first to receive updates on this event you can also send an email to the same address.

Cancellation of ‘The Future is Bright’ Future Workforce Mental Health Project Conference and the First Contact Practitioner Portfolio Support Event

18/07/2022


   
Tuesday 19th July 2022, Birmingham

The College understands that CPD remains one of the main reasons for becoming a member of the College of Paramedics and we aim to continue growing our CPD offering in the months to come. However, the forecast of record-breaking temperatures for today and tomorrow, and the critical infrastructure impact has become so great that we feel, with regret, that we have no alternative but to cancel some of our face-to-face events that were due to take place in Birmingham tomorrow (Tuesday 19th July), with Birmingham seemingly at the epicentre of the warning.

We apologise for the late notice as we would ideally have liked to make this decision last week, but we were unsure of the plans of the major travel providers, and it appears that they have cancelled or intend to cancel all major routes in the area affected by the red weather warning. Friday was also consumed by press requests asking the College Comms team to comment in the media about the unacceptable hospital handover delays, so we apologise that this decision has been made later than we would have liked.

We would still be delighted to see you at our virtual CPD and AGM despite this postponement, so please do register for this on-line event using the link here

I am sorry we have had to take this decision, but your health and welfare is always so important, and it is highly likely that any travel to this event may have led to attendees being stranded or stuck in the inevitable road problems that we are already seeing today.

Tracy Nicholls
Chief Executive

NASMeD Clinical Guidance: Extreme Heat Emergency

18/07/2022


The National Ambulance Service Medical Directors (NASMeD) has produced this guidance on Heat Related Illness. Click here to read.



2021 Annual Report and Accounts

15/07/2022


   
The College of Paramedics 2021 Annual Report and Accounts will be presented to the members at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 19th July 2022.

They are available to read here.

You can also read the highlights of 2021 in our Impact Report.  

This short and bright booklet highlights all the main achievements of the College of Paramedics during 2021. It is our aim and hope that this report will provide a very interesting, yet concise, outline of the work that the College does on behalf of its members, on a yearly basis.



All Over-50s to be Offered COVID-19 Booster and Flu Jab this Autumn

15/07/2022


   
Everyone aged 50 and over will be among those offered a COVID-19 booster and a flu jab this autumn under plans to increase protection against respiratory viruses ahead of winter.

On COVID-19 boosters, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has now published its final recommendations for this autumn’s programme.

Under the advice, those eligible for a further dose will be:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- Frontline health and social care workers*
- All adults aged 50 and over
- Those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group**, including pregnant women
- Those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- Those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers***

The final eligible groups are broader than those announced in the JCVI’s interim advice in May. The committee considered the recent epidemiology of the BA.4 and BA.5 waves, as well as the benefits of aligning the COVID-19 programme with the flu vaccine rollout, concluding that expanding the offer would provide necessary protection to those at higher risk of severe illness and keep greater numbers of people out of hospital.

All eligible groups are encouraged to take up the vaccine when it is offered, even if they have had a spring booster, to give themselves the best possible protection against COVID-19 this winter.

In addition, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will once again be offering the free flu vaccine to additional groups. These groups will only be eligible once the most vulnerable, including previously announced pre-school and primary school children, those aged 65 years and over and those in clinical risk groups, have been offered the jab.

The additional groups set to be offered the free flu vaccine in England will be:
- All adults aged 50 to 64 years
- Secondary school children in years 7, 8 and 9, who will be offered the vaccine in order of school year (starting with the youngest first)

The NHS will announce in due course when and how eligible groups will be able to book an appointment for their COVID-19 autumn booster, and when people aged 50 to 64 years old who are not in a clinical risk group will be able to get their free flu jab.

People in these groups are asked not to come forward until further information is announced.

Commenting on the autumn COVID-19 booster programme, Professor Anthony Harnden, Deputy Chair of the JCVI, said: “We have provided our final recommendations for the autumn programme to ensure the NHS and wider health system has time to plan a vaccine rollout well ahead of the winter season.

“The COVID-19 boosters are highly effective at increasing immunity and, by offering a further dose to those at higher risk of severe illness this autumn, we hope to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalisations and deaths over the winter.”

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said: “Widening the eligibility for the flu vaccine will help reduce the number of people getting seriously ill and ease pressures on the NHS, particularly during the busy winter period.

“It is also important that everyone eligible for the COVID-19 booster gets the jab when invited, including pregnant women, who are among those at higher risk. Having COVID-19 during pregnancy can lead to complications. Getting the vaccine, including a booster, offers the best possible protection for you and your baby.”