Our response to Consultation on Minimum Service Levels in Ambulance Services


The College of Paramedics has responded to a DHSC consultation on Minimum Service Levels in Ambulance Services, click here to read our response .

Future Workforce Mental Health Project: delivering the 3rd pilot of practice educator support package



On the 13th of November we had the pleasure of attending Nottingham Trent university to deliver the 3rd pilot of our practice educator support package to a group of Paramedics, educators, and placement managers from East Midlands ambulance service. Thank you for EMAS for your warm and engaging hospitality throughout the day, your enthusiasm was very welcomed, and we appreciate all your feedback!
Based on the feedback from our LAS pilot, we delivered the face-to-face element slightly differently, we split the group into two and gave them different case studies to talk through. This created less repetitive discussion which we felt as co-academic leads worked well. The feedback from EMAS highlighted that all participants felt the discussion was the best delivery method for the case studies and one person stated “loved the NQP scenario as it highlights the different pressures they are under and the transition”. Interestingly, one person stated that the session could be improved through some role play, which as academic leads we feel could be an interesting part to incorporate. 
Although the majority of participants stated that the E-learning was the right length and informative for the face-to-face element, a common piece of feedback throughout the group was around the lack of quizzes and activities in the E-learning, we are going to look into this and hopefully implement it going forward!
We have now completed three pilot sessions in SWAST, LAS & EMAS, we are still having discussions with other ambulance trusts to hopefully deliver this to further areas, however, we are now going to spend the next couple of months evaluating the pilot and developing the training materials so that this education package can start to be disseminated within these trusts.
Thank you again to the three trusts that have welcomed this training package, and for your valuable feedback.

Dr John Martin appointed as interim Chief Executive at South Western Ambulance Service


The College of Paramedics would like to congratulate former president Dr John Martin on his appointment as Interim Chief Executive at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

John is currently the Chief Paramedic and Quality Officer at London Ambulance Service and is a long-serving executive board member with clinical and operational experience across ambulance, acute, community and mental health services. He will join SWASFT next month when he takes over from Will Warrender who announced in September that he intended to resign.

Stephen Otter, Chair of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “On behalf of the Board I would like to welcome Dr John Martin to the Trust as our Interim Chief Executive.

“John really impressed the interview panel with his operational and clinical leadership, and passion for people and patients which aligns with our values, behaviours, and Trust Strategy.

“The Board and I look forward to working with him over the coming months to provide stability and a smooth transition of leadership.”

John was president of the College of Paramedics from 2017 to June 2023 and has also worked as a director at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Tracy Nicholls, Chief Executive for the College of Paramedics, said: “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to John on his new appointment with SWASFT. This is a wonderful opportunity for him and I have every confidence that he will do his utmost for the staff and patients as that is at the heart of everything he does. Through his work with the College and the profession as a whole, John has already made such a tremendous contribution and impact and I’m certain he will do the same at SWASFT.” 

The recruitment for a substantive Chief Executive will start before the end of this year, with a permanent Chief Executive commencing their journey with SWASFT from August 2024.


Supporting a Smokefree Generation


The College of Paramedics supports the plans to helping smokers across the country to quit through a new programme of stop smoking support, reducing the appeal and availability of vapes to young people, moving towards a smokefree generation.

Tobacco is the single most important entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability and death in this country, responsible for 64,000 deaths in England a year. Smoking causes harm throughout people’s lives. It is a major risk factor for poor maternal and infant outcomes, significantly increasing the chance of stillbirth and can trigger asthma in children. It leads to people needing care and support on average a decade earlier than they would have otherwise, often while still of working age. Smokers lose an average of ten years of life expectancy, or around one year for every 4 smoking years. 

The College of Paramedics supports the Chief Medical Officer proposal in his policy paper to Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and welcomes the personal invite from the Chief Medical Officer to submit a response to the consultation. 

The College is drafting a response to the consultation which will demonstrate our support of this positive policy as a professional body, providing examples on the roles of paramedics in encouraging our patients to quit smoking (including referral/signposting to the local smoking cessation services) and how the College will support our members to achieve this. 

The College believes real-life examples of paramedics’ signposting/referrals to stop smoking service could strengthen our response and support the smokefree generation ambition. 
We urge our members to share your examples of when you have attended a patient who could have benefited by receiving help to find their local stop smoking support with us. 
Please email feedback@collegeofparamedics.co.uk  

Additionally, the College encourages individuals and organisations to respond to the consultation, to share your views and show your support for the policy Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The consultation is open until 6 December and sets out plans to tackle health inequalities caused by smoking and nicotine addiction, as well as taking steps to address youth vaping. 
The College of Paramedics will develop support for members interested in quitting smoking as part of our wellbeing support for members as one of the five key strategic aims in the College of Paramedics 2019/24 Strategy.


Future Workforce Mental Health Project: University of Cumbria Education Conference 2023



Emma Geis and Katie Pavoni, co-academic leads for the Future Workforce Mental Health Project recently attended the University of Cumbria’s 2023 Education Conference, to run a practical workshop exploring how the pre-registration wellbeing curriculum framework could be embedded within their BSc Paramedic Science. 

The session revisited the core aspects of the curriculum and best practice examples but focused on how specific learning outcomes may be implemented across diverse learning and teaching content and within the unique context of a multicentred apprenticeship programme.

The session was attended by approximately 50 members of the academic administrative faculty who engaged in small group discussion to explore how the framework could be applied within their own education practice, such as at sessional module, or at programme leadership level. Attendees then considered personal action points, and next steps for actualising the guidance. 

The workshop received positive feedback, with many educators remarking on how the session had altered their perspective on how wellbeing could be incorporated into educational content in a meaningful way, without becoming tokenistic, or a ‘bolt on’ with their only constructive comment being and that they would have liked longer!

Thank you to the University of Cumbria and in particular Tom Davidson and Gemma Howlett for inviting us to take part in your important event, and for Herdy the Sheep of course! 

Katie and Emma are keen to support other universities in adopting the curriculum For more information please contact Emma Geis emma.geis@collegeofparamedics.co.uk or Katie Pavoni kpavoni@sgul.ac.uk

National NHS Uniform update 


In January 2023 we shared with our members an AHP Uniform Survey being carried out by the NHS Supply Chain. The survey was part of a project to develop a National Healthcare Uniform for the NHS in England and compiled to allow all AHPs the opportunity to have input on the proposed base colour for the AHP uniform across the NHS in England. This did not apply to paramedics working in NHS Ambulance Trusts, but to those paramedics working in Acute (Hospital) or Mental Health Trusts, for example. Within the initial survey questions, the role of ‘paramedic’ was not included as a specific option, therefore any paramedic who completed the survey had to choose the ‘other’ option, as did Art, Drama and Music Therapists, Osteopaths, Prosthetists and Orthotists. The College of Paramedics contacted colleagues at NHS Supply Chain to get the survey amended to include paramedic as a stand-alone role category.  

The results of this survey were published in May 23 in the document  ‘Base Colourway Consultation Summary of Responses’. Despite being a member of the AHP Uniform Advisory Group since its inception in early 2022 and attending face to face meetings later that year, the College of Paramedics was not notified of the publication of these results and so there was a delay in our review of them. We contacted the NHS Supply Chain to ask for the results in sufficient detail to obtain the views of those paramedics who completed the survey. In the meantime, the NHS Supply Chain published the ‘NHS National Healthcare Uniform Colourways Palette’ in September 23 with the omission of paramedics in the Allied Health Professions Trim Colours section. This oversight leaves paramedics that work in a wide range of non-Ambulance NHS Trust roles unsure of what their uniform could be in the future and their employers without clear guidance of what to offer. 

We have again contacted NHS Supply Chain outlining our disappointment over their lack of communication and consultation as this project has progressed, their apparent disregard for the paramedic professions’ relevance within this project and asked for clear guidance regarding a solution to the situation we now find ourselves in. We await a response.   

AHP principles of practice-based learning published


We are delighted to share the new AHP principles of practice-based learning published and launched in October 2023. The College of Paramedics are one of ten professional bodies to collaborate on the production of the newly published collaborate on the production of the newly published AHP principles of practice-based learning. The principles were developed by Tamsin Baird (Chartered Society  of Physiotherapy) and Carolyn Hay (Royal College of Occupational Therapists) and first published in October 2022. Many AHP professional bodies quickly recognised the value and significance of the framework for Practice based learning that these principles provide, ourselves included.

Click here to view the document

‘The document is designed to be used by everyone involved in practice-based learning: students and apprentices; university representatives; practice educators; service leads and many more. The same principles are applicable across all AHP professions. By having this common language and shared purpose, we believe these principles offer an opportunity to connect, understand different perspectives and identify areas for joined up working both within and across AHP professions truly delivering change as we are stronger together.’


College of Paramedics announces new Chair Elect


The College of Paramedics is delighted to announce our new Chair Elect – Helen Hardy, following the recent election. 

“I am honoured and delighted to be voted Chair Elect of the Paramedic Council. Thank you to those who have put their trust and shown confidence in me.  I am looking forward to working together with Rory and with mutual support of Congress to provide a smooth transition to undertake the important role of Chair next Spring – a time for further growth in well cultivated ground! Thank you to all involved in this process, not least any that opposed - it’s important to have discussion that leads to consensus.” 

Helen joined the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in 2008 as a student paramedic. Once registered she was then in the shared role of Lecturer Practitioner and Clinical Practice Supervisor for five years, moving on to join the quality improvement team at EEAST in 2021. 

As a lecturer, instructor and mentor she was able to provide counsel to peers and work alongside other RCUK Advanced Life Support Instructors to promote the role of paramedics in caring for patients across the region. 

As a Quality Improvement and Professional Standards Officer, she has the responsibility to network with partner organisations to cultivate new pathways, and to foster a culture of continuous innovation empowering people involved to deliver the highest quality of patient care. Her role within Professionals Standards includes working with staff and people in EEAST, as well as the College, to understand behaviours that generate risk and give some insight into staff satisfaction and explore the professional identity of paramedics. 

Helen worked with the College in the role of Council Representative for the Eastern region from July 2022 until her successful candidacy for the role of Chair of the Paramedic Council, working as Chair Elect from November 2023. 

Helen will begin on the 22nd November as the Chair Elect, shadowing the current Chair of Council, Rory O’Connor, for 6 months as he comes to the end of his tenure. The full role of Chair of Paramedic Council will commence at the AGM on 22nd May 2024. 

Paramedic independent prescribers, legislation changes due by the end of the year


A positive response from the UK Government to the short debate in the House of Lords on 14 September. Responding on behalf of the UK Government, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, Lord Sharpe of Epsom acknowledged the specialist training to prescribe, supply and administer controlled drugs that paramedic independent prescribers undertake, and the benefits this means for both patients and wider healthcare systems.

Lord Sharpe explained that independent prescribing supports an expectation that patients should be cared for and treated by the most appropriate healthcare professional to meet their needs where it is safe and appropriate. The main purpose of paramedic independent prescribers is to allow those working at an advanced level of practice to be able to independently assess, diagnose and treat patients in a single episode of care, rather than refer them on to another healthcare professional. He went on to state that the UK Government are wholly supportive of the proposals to enable prescribing of the five specified controlled drugs by paramedic independent prescribers, as recommended by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and that changes to legislation will be made by the end of this year.

The College of Paramedics is grateful to Lord Butler of Brockwell and colleagues for their support in highlighting this issue. We will continue to work with stakeholders and policy makers to ensure the skills and knowledge of paramedics are recognised and fully utilized to benefit patients and healthcare systems.

View the full debate here Parliamentlive.tv - Lords Grand Committee (Government response from 13.38.46).

Read the full transcript in Hansard Healthcare: Controlled Drugs - Hansard - UK Parliament

Expanding the use of controlled drugs in healthcare Expanding the use of controlled drugs in healthcare - House of Lords Library (parliament.uk)


A reflective conversation on the Paramedic Inclusive Recruitment Conference, with Nova and Josh. 


Last month the College of Paramedics, with support from AACE hosted the first inclusive recruitment conference in Birmingham’s Conference and Events Centre. The primary goal of this conference was to promote continuous collaboration for everyone involved in the process of recruitment, retention, and nurturing of paramedics. By engaging in these discussions, it highlights where we are currently falling short in terms of inclusivity, however it also allows us to exchange good practice so that people from all backgrounds are not only welcomed into the profession, but they’re also allowed to be their full selves and thrive!
Josh is a 3rd year paramedic and is the East of England’s student rep. Nova is paramedic in the south of England and is the Disability Strand Lead for the College’s Diversity Steering Group. 

N: So Josh, before the conference, when you thought about the term “inclusion” within the paramedic profession, what came to mind?
J: When considering diversity, my mind conjures up an image of a university campus with various people from different backgrounds sitting on a hill together for a brief photo moment. 

N: So it seemed like it was just a tick-box thing, not something actively pursued or paid attention to?
J: Yes, exactly. But how can we make this fictitious image a reality within the ambulance service? How can we shift our focus from mere box-ticking and appearing inclusive to actively working towards true inclusivity? 
N: It’s a difficult task, certainly. But having these difficult discussions where everyone who has a hand in recruitment directly or indirectly, like Directors, lecturers, front and back-room staff can come together and voice their lived experiences and ideas on how to improve things, its a good start.

J: Were there any speakers or topics that stood out to you?
N: The presentation by Anton Emmanuel discussing the WRES data. I knew the ambulance sector doesn’t perform super well when it comes to hitting national targets [for employment of non-white-British people] but I did not realise how low it was. However, the data showed improvements year on year, and some decent improvements in management and higher positions.
J: Yeah, only 7%, that number struck me hard. It raises the question of what steps can we take to effect meaningful change? Dawn Whelan in her presentation emphasised that whatever we do, the “on-size-fits-all” approach won’t work at all. Everyone is unique, and we should embrace and celebrate our profession's rich diversity. We can better serve our diverse communities if we encourage and support diversity in our profession.

N: So, from the perspective of a student, do you think this kind of conference is necessary? Do you think your perspective on inclusivity within the profession has changed?
J: The statistics from the speakers paint a bleak picture of diversity within our paramedic profession. Nevertheless, the workshops were an essential aspect of this conference and highlighted good practice. It allowed representatives from various fields, such as ambulance directors and associate directors, senior university lecturers, and recruitment staff, to come together and discuss diversity and inclusion. Through these discussions, we learned how different sectors are working to become more diverse and inclusive. Attending this conference made me realise that we are on the right track. Having so many people from CEOs to front-line staff gathered to discuss ways to foster a more inclusive and diverse environment. It's encouraging to see everyone working together to achieve genuine inclusivity.

N: The statistics are less than ideal to be sure, although interestingly I learnt that LGBT+ representation within the ambulance service is higher than the reported national average! You mentioned the afternoon workshops (where I had the pleasure to co-host one with Anna Perry [AACE]) it was fascinating to learn things from so many perspectives. Knowing that there are currently positive actions happening, such as London Ambulance Service having a successful mentoring programme specifically for people from a BAME background to progress and thrive in upper management was a highlight of the day. As was watching people get out their diaries to book time in to share these successful concepts within Trusts and across organisations.
J: Do you have any final thoughts or feelings about the conference?
N: It’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are someone who reads things like the WDES, WRES, and actively seeks discrimination and inequity so that it can be improved. However, events like this give me genuine hope for the future of the profession. And to paraphrase my colleague and friend, Dawn Whelan, it all starts with a snowflake to make an avalanche of progress.
J: The Paramedic Inclusive Recruitment Conference highlighted our progress in starting these critical conversations and working together to address this issue of diversity and inclusion. It also paints a clear picture of where we can go from here. Bringing together people from various backgrounds, such as the university paramedic senior lectures, to the ambulance service and other work settings where paramedics find themselves has made me realise that achieving this change and changing the culture of our Ambulance Service and other clinician settings will require a collaborative effort. However, it is possible, and this conference is the first step towards a genuinely inclusive and diverse workforce that embraces and celebrates individualism.

The latest statement from the Home Office regarding the re-scheduling of Nitrous Oxide


The College of Paramedics would like to make members aware of the latest statement from the Home Office regarding the ongoing debate around the re-scheduling of Nitrous Oxide / Oxygen. 


We will continue to monitor the situation and advise members. 

If members require any advice on this matter please email enquires@collegeofparamedics.co.uk 


Introducing Our New Chair Of Student Council


We are delighted to introduce our new Chair of Student Council and Student Member Representative on the Paramedic Council, Peter Turner-Wells.

Peter will take over from Emma Wainwright who has been the acting Chair since January 2023. 

There has been a recent change to the way the Chair of Student Council is elected to the position to reflect the level of work and pressure the individual in the role will encounter due to having to juggle study, placement, supporting the Student Council and representing the student voice within the Paramedic Council. 

Originally, when the Student Council was launched in 2020, it was proposed that the whole student membership would be called upon to stand for the role, with the student membership voting for candidates. When this was done in 2021, we only received one, last minute candidate by encouraging a member of the Student Council to stand; Amy Hobbs who was representative for the Eastern region. The Chair of the Student Council being elected from Student Membership without having the experience of serving on the Student Council was thought to be problematic both for the Chair and the Council. Being new to both the Student Council itself and the role of Chair and representative on the Paramedic Council is an inefficient process particularly given the high turn-over within the Student Council, due to the pressures of the role of student paramedic.

In November 2022 the Student Council proposed that the Chair be appointed from within the Council and voted on by the Council, and that all Student council members stand down once registered as paramedic (as opposed to at the end of their NQP (or equivalent) years). These changes were approved by Congress in May 2023. 
Peter was duly appointed to the role, through the new process, for two years or until he registers as a paramedic, whichever is sooner. 

If you have any questions regarding governance or process, please email imogen.carter@collegeofparamedics.co.uk 

Peter has been on the Student Council since January 2022, firstly as the London Representative and then also as Vice-Chair in January 2023.

Peter Turner-Wells:

“It is a great honour and a privilege to be the fourth elected chair of the Student Council. With Emma Wainwright standing down after registering with the HCPC, I know that I have huge shoes to fill - but I am confident that your Student Council will still strive. 
A huge thank you must be given to Emma for all she has done over the last year. 

I look forward to the year ahead and am always more than happy to take suggestions directly.”

Emma Wainwright:

"It has been a privilege to hold the role of Chair of the Student Council with the College of Paramedics. The team of representatives who make up the Student Council are dedicated, passionate, and enthusiastic individuals, and I am incredibly proud of their energetic pursuit for positive change. We have achieved great things over the recent months, and the impact of the Student Council has been acknowledged and appreciated across the United Kingdom.

Having worked alongside me on the Council as our Vice-chair, I am delighted with the appointment of Peter as the incoming Chair and have complete trust in him to take the reins and continue the important work undertaken by the Student Council."

The future of Paramedicine is bright!