So-called ‘conversion therapy’ position statement

12/05/2022


The College of Paramedics has considered the UK government’s proposed ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’, which as it stands, excludes trans people. It is the College’s view that all members of the LGBT+ community should be included in conversion therapy bans and anything less is simply unacceptable. We stand with our transgender colleagues, friends and families against this proposal and echo the words of NHS England that all forms of conversion therapy are “unethical and potentially harmful” and could have profound consequences for adults and children struggling with gender dysphoria. We acknowledge the impact this proposed removal of trans rights would have when the rights of all should be guaranteed under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in particular, signatory States have a legal obligation to ‘protect individuals from homophobic and transphobic violence and prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’. There can be no LGB without the T.


 
  
 
 
 
  

Her Majesty the Queens Platinum Jubilee commemorative medal

12/05/2022


The College enquiries team have received a number of emails and messages from members relating to the presentation of this medal. Based on information from the website of Her Majesty Read More

These will be awarded to:

serving members of the Armed Forces that have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022.
Frontline emergency services personnel that have been in paid service, retained or in a voluntary capacity, dealing with emergencies as part of their conditions of service, and have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022.
Prison services personnel who are publicly employed and are regularly exposed to difficult and sometimes emergency situations that have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022.
Members of the Royal Household with one year of qualifying service.
Living individual recipients of the George Cross.
Living individual recipients of the Victoria Cross. 

The medals are applied for by the employing organisations. However, being a registered Paramedic does NOT meet the criteria on its own, as it is NOT the underlying clinical/professional qualification that makes you eligible, but the organisation whom you work for. If you are NOT working for one of the ambulance services, you are probably NOT eligible.  The criteria for the Platinum Jubilee medal are laid down by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on behalf of the Government following ratification by HM The Queen. 
 

 

 

 
  
 
 
 
  

Report Highlights Unintentional Overdose of Morphine Sulfate Oral Solution

04/05/2022


Report Highlights Unintentional Overdose of Morphine Sulfate Oral Solution


The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has published a report highlighting unintentional overdose of morphine sulfate oral solution.

Click here to read the summary.

Click here to read the full report. 
 

 
  
 
 
 
  

Announcing The College of Paramedics’ New Chief Operating Officer

04/05/2022


The College of Paramedics has great pleasure in announcing the appointment of Lewis Andrews as our new Chief Operating Officer.

Lewis joins us from East of England Ambulance Service where he was Head of Quality Improvement and Professional Standards.

Lewis started his career in the ambulance sector’s patient transport service and qualified as a paramedic in 2002. Since then, he has worked his way up to become an experienced senior clinical leader and was responsible for operational, tactical and strategic business functions within EEAST. In total, Lewis has 25 years of patient-focused NHS experience under his belt. 

In his new role with the College, Lewis will be responsible for the day-to-day operational, business and administrative functions of the organisation. He will also be responsible for the implementation of the College Strategy.

Lewis said: “I am honoured and very excited to be joining the College of Paramedics. I am looking forward to building on the great foundations already in place and supporting the development of the College for the benefit of its members. I am a firm believer that we can all flourish and reach our goals in a kind and supportive environment and feel confident that the skills I’ve learnt throughout my NHS career will hold me in good stead working with the College.”

Tracy Nicholls, Chief Executive of the College of Paramedics, said: “After an independent and rigorous recruitment process, I am delighted to welcome Lewis to the College of Paramedics.  The calibre of candidates was high, so thank you to all of those who applied. 

“I have no doubt the team will thrive under his approach to improvement and thanks to his wide range of experiences, both within and outside of the NHS, I’m confident this will enable our team to become a more efficient and effective business operation for the benefit of our members.” 

Lewis will start with the College in July 2022.
 

 

 
  
 
 
 
  

Study shows free Veteran Friendly GP Practices scheme leads to more effective care

28/04/2022


The Royal College of GPs and NHS England are encouraging GP practices to become ‘Veteran Friendly Accredited’ after a new evaluation by the University of Chester revealed that it leads to better healthcare for veterans and is recommended by 99% of practice staff.

The study follows a warning from a mental health charity for veterans that media coverage surrounding the invasion of Ukraine could ‘re-traumatise’ some veterans and trigger difficult thoughts and feelings¹.

Dr (Colonel Retired) Jonathan Leach OBE, NHS England Associate Medical Director for Armed Forces and Veterans Health, said: “The need for veteran-friendly GP practices, which provide the best possible care and treatment for patients who have served in the Armed Forces, is even more pressing with reports that media coverage of Ukraine can trigger mental health issues amongst veterans.
 
“Accreditation to the scheme, which is voluntary and includes having a clinical lead for veterans in the surgery, is part of our commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan to ensure all GPs in England are equipped to best serve our veterans and their families.”

It is thought that around 12% of veterans experience probable PTSD² and more than half (52%) may have a long-term illness, disability or infirmity³, yet studies suggest that veterans are less likely to seek help if they feel their healthcare professional might not understand³. 

Data from the University of Chester’s study of 225 accredited practices revealed that 84% now have a better understanding of how to meet veterans’ health needs and 72% believed that the programme had already benefited their veteran patients. Some practices reported an increase in veteran registrations since becoming accredited and 99% of practices said they would recommend the accreditation scheme to others.

More than 1,300 GP practices have already signed up to the Veteran Friendly Accreditation Scheme, which is designed with busy practice teams in mind and includes an easy process for coding veteran patients as well as access to information on how to support and refer veterans to specialist services.

Dr (Brigadier Retired) Robin Simpson, RCGP Clinical Champion for Veterans, said: “With the situation in Ukraine increasing the need some veterans will have for support and the Government’s new Veterans Strategy Action Plan⁴ committing to making the UK ‘the best place in the world to be a veteran’ by 2028, there has never been a more important time for practices to become Veteran Friendly Accredited. 

“On average, most practices will see a veteran patient every day and this free and quick-to-implement programme is set up to make it easier to identify, understand, support and refer any patients that might be struggling at this challenging time. We know that the impact of service is not always obvious and that’s why it’s so important to have a proven process that makes it easier for veterans to access help. This scheme gives clinicians the opportunity and support to lead their practice in an area that has been identified as a national priority - and this evaluation clearly demonstrates the scheme's effectiveness.”

Principle Investigator for the evaluation was Professor Alan Finnegan, Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health at University of Chester, said: “This independent evaluation has demonstrated very encouraging results for the GP Veteran Friendly Accredited Practices Programme, with many positive outcomes. It was very clear from the results and our conversations that veterans appear to receive better healthcare when GPs, nurses and other primary healthcare staff understand their needs.  We found that the programme, which leads to improved knowledge of veteran specific secondary and tertiary services and of the priority referral pathway, is beneficial to veterans and their families.”

The evaluation report included comments from a number of clinicians from practices that have been accredited. 
 
A clinician from one practice that took part in the evaluation commented: “When we first got registered and told the staff what we were doing, there was huge support from the staff, particularly the admin team. They were really positive and quite a few of them have got spouses who are ex-military or children in the military so they’re right behind it. It has raised the profile of military awareness. We have a real sense of pride in the staff which wasn’t there before, from supporting the military.” 

Another said: “As a practice, we are now more aware of the specific issues that involve patients who are veterans so I think that makes us more responsive to their needs.”

Find out more about the programme and fill in a simple form for more information:
https://www.rcgp.org.uk/veterans 

For more information on the University of Chester study, visit: https://bjgpopen.org/content/early/2022/04/05/BJGPO.2022.0012 


For more information on this press release, please contact Chris Hayter on 07741 245596 or chris.hayter@evergreenpr.co.uk or Leigh Greenwood on 07508 428940 or leigh@evergreenpr.co.uk


References

¹ Combat Stress - Ukraine invasion (2022)
² King’s College London, The evolution of post-traumatic stress disorder in the UK Armed Forces: traumatic exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan and responses of distress (TRIAD study). January 2021
³ Robin G Simpson, J Leach. UK military veteran-friendly GP practices. British Medical Journal Military Health. Volume 168, issue 1. February 2021
⁴ Cabinet Office, Office for Veteran Affairs and Veterans UK. Veteran Strategy Action Plan: 2022-2024. 19th January 2022

About the RCGPs Veteran Friendly Practice Accreditation Programme

The Veteran Friendly GP Practice accreditation scheme supports practices to deliver the best possible care and treatment for patients who have served in the Armed Forces.
The scheme helps GP practices to identify, code and support their veteran patients, which is important as the healthcare needs of veterans can be different to the general population.
Accredited practices appoint a clinical lead who receives training and support, and receives an information pack to help increase their understanding of the health needs of veterans, and the services available to them.
Accreditation is voluntary and fulfils key commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan: ‘To ensure all GPs in England are equipped to best serve our veterans and their families.’ 
The accreditation scheme has been developed by RCGP in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Over 1,300 GP practices are now accredited through the programme. 
Support for veterans struggling with their mental health
Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service provides dedicated mental health care and support to service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families.
 
Individuals can contact the service to make an appointment or ask someone to do this on their behalf.  It doesn’t matter how long ago someone left the Armed Forces, help is available.  For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/opcourage
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
  

Future Workforce Mental Health Project

27/04/2022


Future Workforce Mental Health Project


This one year HEE funded project has been running since June 2021 and will soon reach its end point. The project was instigated to improve the support for personal mental health and wellbeing for pre-registration paramedic students, NQPs and preceptorship supervisors. It is being led by our two academic leads, Emma Geis and Katie Pavoni, with support from a range of academics and those with expertise in mental health. There have been two project updates on our College Knowledge webpage to keep members informed of the progress of work under the project, specifically the three objective; to develop curriculum guidance content on personal mental health; to produce a wellbeing support tool; and to design a learning package for NQPs and preceptorship supervisors. As part of the culmination of this project a full update article will be featured in the next issue of INSIGHT and we will be holding a ‘showcase’ event with best practice workshops and “how to” guides. This event with be broadly aimed at those with either, an involvement with student paramedic education or those with responsibility for supporting students on clinical placements. Please SAVE-THE-DATE: 19th July 2022, and more details will follow soon.  

 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
  

International Paramedics Day - An Update

25/04/2022

The posters have gone out, the partnership forms continue to pour in and the first ever International Paramedics Day draws ever closer.

Over 30 paramedic associations, higher education institutions and affiliated organsations from around the world have now joined us as partners for the event which takes place on July 8. As well as several UK ambulance trusts, AACE and TASC, we also have support from many different international organisations in countries including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Our aim is that every year, on July 8, paramedics and first responders around the globe will be recognised and celebrated on International Paramedics Day for the tremendous work they do. It will also be 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.

This year’s theme is ‘Proud to be a Paramedic' which we believe will resonate widely with students, paramedics and first responders around the world, regardless of which area of paramedicine they are working in. 

And as members of the College we want to hear why you are proud to be a paramedic – for example, by discussing or showcasing your proudest and most memorable moments in helping, supporting or caring for people. 

We would also like students to engage with the campaign and talk about the reasons you have chosen to become a paramedic and why you feel proud to have chosen a career in paramedicine.

With just over two months to go until the big day, we hope that we can count on your support for this event, that you will spread the word and participate in our video showreel and social media campaign. Let’s make July 8 a date to remember! 

Here’s how to get involved:
Contribute now to our International Paramedics Day showreel to help demonstrate the breadth of services that paramedics offer: Upload your photos and videos as soon as possible via www.internationalparamedicsday.com 
Share and engage with the content created by the College of Paramedics and international partners in the lead up to the event, and especially on July 8, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @ParamedicsDay
Create and promote your own content on social media
Use the hashtags #InternationalParamedics Day #ProudToBeAParamedic #IPD2022
Run your own mini-events and promotional activities and share the details with natasha.weale@collegeofparamedics.co.uk



Download poster
 

Apply Now for a New Survival Adventure TV Series

25/04/2022


Apply Now for a New Survival Adventure TV Series


The casting team at Garden Productions are looking for people to potentially participate in a brand new adventure TV series called ‘The Wilderness’. 

‘The Wilderness’ is the ultimate test of endurance and ingenuity set in one of the most gorgeous and untouched landscapes on earth. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will give individuals the chance to embark on an epic solo survival adventure. With a cash prize up for grabs, who will have the nerve and resourcefulness to brave the wild? 

The team are looking for inspiring individuals to take part in the series so could this be you?

If this is something you are interested in and would like to find out more then please go to https://bit.ly/WildernessCasting 

Or you can contact the casting team directly by sending an email to wilderness@thegarden.tv with the subject ‘The Wilderness’. 

The Wilderness Flyer

 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
  

HCPC Registration Letter Advice

29/03/2022


HCPC Registration Letter Advice


The College of Paramedics has been made aware of a situation involving paramedics who achieved HCPC registration via their international application route and, may now have received a letter or email from the HCPC regarding their registration.  If you are a member of the College, please contact us urgently at membership@collegeofparamedics.co.uk where our membership team will ask you a few short questions.  We would ask that you bear with us while we gather as much information on this issue as possible from all relevant parties and we will endeavour to communicate with you as soon as we can. 


 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
  

BBC Documentary: Mental Health

25/03/2022


BBC Documentary: Mental Health


The BBC is making a documentary about key worker mental health for a BBC One show called We Are England and are looking for emergency workers to take part. They’re filming with a police project called Surfwell that uses surfing, action centred therapy and group therapy as a way of supporting key workers with their mental health, whether it is burn out from work, PTSD from a traumatic event or long-standing conditions. They are hoping to find key workers who think they would benefit from two days of the surf therapy in May likely the 13/14th of May and would be happy to talk a bit about their experiences at work and their mental health. They are interested from hearing from as many people as possible to find the right group.

If you’re interested, please contact mary.oreilly.ext@bbc.co.uk - please send your name, age, work background and a brief description of the issues you’d like to talk about. 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
  

Upcoming 2022 Trustee Elections 

23/03/2022


Upcoming 2022 Trustee Elections

An important reminder to our members that there will be an opportunity to stand for 5 trustee positions in May 2022.  
 
These positions will be:
Honorary Treasurer
Trustee (Research)
Trustee (Membership)
Trustee (Education)
Trustee (Professional Standards)
 
2 members of the Board of Trustees will be coming to the end of their tenure at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July 2022 
 
Tim Gerhard has been the College of Paramedics Honorary Treasurer since October 2015, providing essential advice, guidance, and reassurance to the Board on all aspects of the charity’s financial management and risk control systems.  
 
Will Broughton has been a member of the Board of Trustees since he represented the London region, becoming Trustee (Professional Standards) in 2018. Will has been a committed and hardworking member of the Board, helping the College to keep its duty to the profession and to members at the forefront of actions and decisions. 
 
3 further Trustees will reach the end of their first term (their maximum tenure is two terms of 2 years).  
 
Georgette Eaton - Trustee (Research) 
Richard Webber - Trustee (Membership) 
Vince Clarke - Trustee (Education) 
 
This is an important juncture in a Trustee’s tenure, where the trustee considers their wider commitments, reflects on their first term, and decides whether to stand, alongside other members of the College, to be elected for a second term as trustee. Members will be informed whether an incumbent is standing when we call for candidates.  
 
Look out for more information in the coming months on these exciting opportunities to become involved right at the heart of your professional body. 
 
 
 
 
  

 

Stronger My Way 

22/03/2022


Stronger My Way

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is launching a new campaign called Stronger My Way which is aimed at tackling the huge problem of deconditioning amongst people living with long-term conditions.
 
csp.org.uk/stronger-test
 
With funding from Sport England and the Centre for Ageing Better, the CSP spent over a year talking to people living with a health condition to find out more about what would encourage them to do strengthening on a more regular basis.
 
Based on those discussions, Stronger My Way features advice and guidance on how to get started and includes stories from people who have found strengthening improved their quality of life.
 
They also ran a parallel process with CSP members and other stakeholders to find out what support healthcare professionals needed to enable behaviour change among patients. The hub features evidence, training and resources to support those interactions. 
 
As such, they would like to hear from paramedics on how they could improve the hub and make it as effective as possible.

Please take some time to look at the hub by clicking here and then answer questions in the survey link here. 
 
The survey will remain live until 25 March 2022.