This page launched in January 2021 aims to provide you with ongoing knowledge of the College’s activities all in one place. Regularly updated, you will find brief outlines of developments, publications and workstreams, and updates on national groups that the College’s staff are involved with or leading on.

July 2021

Future Workforce Mental Health Project
July saw the launch of this project which brings together a range of expertise and experience from academia, mental health and our Student Council. The project is funded by Health Education England with a key aim to review and improve the mental health and wellbeing offering to student paramedics. There are three key outputs from the project:
1.            Development of curriculum guidance regarding personal mental health and well-being for pre-registration paramedic students.
2.            Development of a wellbeing and recovery support tool for use by paramedic students and early career staff in ambulance services.
3.            Development of a learning and development package for student and preceptorship supervisors. The project will run over the next 12 months.

Royal Charter Status
We have now officially begun the process to seek a Royal Charter. There are many formalities to work through as we embark on this journey but we are confident that we meet all the criteria necessary to be granted Royal Charter status, which if awarded, would strengthen our professional voice and leadership. While we firmly believe that now is the right time to begin this process we are fully aware that Royal Charters are rarely awarded and that our application could be rejected. We will, of course, keep you updated as we move from one stage to the next.  Click here to read more.

JRCALC
The College of Paramedics has two seats on the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC). Representing the College of Paramedics membership are Tony Stone (Head of Clinical Development – Emergency & Critical Care) and Professor Julia Williams (Head of Research). The committee is responsible for reviewing, updating, and producing the JRCALC guidelines which all members will be undoubtedly familiar with. The committee meets multiple times a year (albeit virtually throughout the pandemic) to discuss and approve changes and/or new guidelines as required. The committee constantly reviews new evidence (e.g. the updated RCUK anaphylaxis guideline) and sub-groups are developed to draft updated guidelines pending committee approval. Currently, the College of Paramedics is supporting in the development of guidelines around steroid-dependent patients, limb Injuries and non-traumatic back pain.

Paramedics and Neonatal Critical Care
Response to Allied Health Solutions who have been commissioned to understand the contribution and potential of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in neonatal critical care.
Following the NHSE/I Implementing the Recommendations of the Neonatal Critical Care Transformation Review, Allied Health Solutions (AHS) were commissioned on behalf of the Health Education England national maternity programme to identify and understand the contribution and potential of AHPs, pharmacists and psychologists in neonatal critical care. As part of this work, both the College of Paramedics Maternity Lead and the Head of Clinical Development – Emergency & Critical Care worked with AHS to provide:
• a description of the role of paramedics with neonates,
• an anonymised neonate care case example that paramedics were involved with,
• a summary of the MIST programme.  

The full report is currently undergoing final revision and will be published by HEE in due course.

Strategic Planning Workshop
The Chief Executive Group came together to meet in Leeds in July for a strategic planning workshop. This provided vital time for the team to explore key strategic planning principles and approaches, and to develop a strategy implementation plan to support the organisation to meet the delivery of its current strategic aims by 2024. There will be further workshops to include the staff team at the Bridgwater Head Office to ensure a collaborative organisational approach. This strategy work also aligns and compliments the ongoing governance restructure work to grow a professional body that is effective and robust, but also agile enough for future challenges.

June 2021

Research Database aka CRED coming soon.
We will soon be launching the College of Paramedics ResEarch StuDies (CRED) database where you can register your research studies. CRED is a searchable database open to everyone where people can put in some key details about their research such as the aim and objectives and an abstract with contact details. This will help people to network about their projects and also act as a portal to keep people informed about what research is in progress so that people don’t unnecessarily duplicate work. For this to work well it needed to be something open to all professions so it is not a members only resource. By opening it to anyone, members will benefit from a far more extensive database of information. We are pleased to say that we are almost ready to go live and then we will evaluate its usefulness and develop the database as we move forward. We will let you know as soon as the CRED database is operational!

eLearning for Health research resources
We have submitted a grant application in March for £120,000 to the NIHR to develop on line resources for research education to be hosted on the e-learning for Health platform. We worked with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) on a joint submission and we are delighted to say that we have been shortlisted – so fingers crossed and we should hear more in July.

Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public consultation response
The Department of Health and Social Care consultation which sought to seek views on proposals to modernise the regulatory legislation and reform the regulation of healthcare professionals (including the introduction of statutory regulation of physician and anaesthesia associates) closed on the 16th June. This was a comprehensive consultation document with 70 questions covering proposals within Governance and Operating Framework, Education and Training, Registration and Fitness to Practise.

The College of Paramedics broadly supported most of the proposals in the consultation. These have been recommended to provide all regulators with the same powers to carry out their registration function and to facilitate the resolution of fitness to practise cases more quickly, enabling the regulators to better support the professionalism of all their registrants.

However, we have outlined our concerns within our response, the keys ones being: Registrar discretion – we disagreed that all Registrars should be given a discretion to turn down an applicant for registration. The criteria for registration should be clearly set and be measurable and not subjective. We disagreed that separate grounds for action relating to health (and English language) should be removed from the legislation, and concerns of this kind investigated under the ground of lack of competence. To describe a registrant who has a health condition that affects their ability to carry out their professional practice or activities as ‘lacking competence’ is demeaning and offensive. If fitness to practise matters related to ill-health are to be combined with matters relating to professional practice, as proposed in this consultation, then the term ‘competence’ or ‘lack of competence’ is completely inappropriate. We remained unconvinced that there is sufficient case law that has determined what ‘competence’ actually is, and therefore how it is proved to be lacking. We disagreed that case examiners should have the full suite of measures available to them, including removal from the register. Case Examiners should not have the power to remove or suspend from the register without the registrant’s agreement. Notification of a concern raised to the regulator can be devasting to a registrant and render them unable to respond within the 28-day period proposed. The Interim Measures process allows for sufficient protection of the public. We would like to understand further what the training and qualifications are to become a Case Examiner if such serious sanctions are within their power.

You can read our full response to this consultation on our Statements and Consultation webpage.

May 2021

Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report – published 31st March
Tracy Nicholls, CEO, along with members of our Diversity Steering Group have responded to the publication of this report. We do not support the findings of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report, that institutional racism does not exist and is not one of the reasons for the inequalities, that black and ethnic minority people face, in the UK today. We feel that this view bears no resemblance to the lived experiences of those in our group, as well as many other College of Paramedics members, from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, including those that gave evidence to the Commission. Read the full response by the Diversity Steering Group here

April 2021

HCPC Health and Character Guidance consultation 
The College of Paramedics submitted a response to the proposed changes outlined in the HCPC Health and Character Consultation, which closed on the 12th April 2021. We believe that merging the Health and Character Policy document with the Health and Character Guidance (2017) to produce the new Guidance on Health and Character seems a sensible way forward that should be simpler and easier for applicants and registrants to follow. Other improvements highlighted in our response included the inclusion of case studies, in particular ones that outline potentially complex, but realistic circumstances are welcome additions, the inclusion of the ‘Do I need to self-refer to the HCPC’ infographic was another welcome addition. However, we did highlight several grammatical errors and provide further suggestions on how to improve this section for clarity. We felt that incorporating Standard 9.5 (Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics) into the Health and Character Guidance, aligning the two, is entirely appropriate. It is also appropriate to align the criteria for character declarations for both applicants and registrants. Finally, separation of the advice for education providers away from the applicant/registrant guidance we also felt was appropriate and a step in the right direction.  

Reforming the Mental Health Act white paper consultation

The College of Paramedics submitted a response to the Reforming the Mental Health Act White Paper Consultation, which closed on the 21st April 2021. This was a comprehensive document with some areas requiring specific knowledge and expertise. Our response was based on comment, conversation and collaboration with Paramedic Mental Health and Wellbeing Steering Group members, the National Ambulance Mental Health Leads Group and Mental Health and Ambulance Stakeholder Group colleagues. We commented on several areas of this document including supporting the need to embed the newly proposed principles into the MHA and the MHA code of practice, and that these principles should also be included in the undergraduate education of healthcare professionals, within postgraduate/advanced practice curriculum and embedded in training of the existing healthcare workforce also. We gave response to a range of questions on topics such as the MCA, detention, advanced choice documents, the introduction of a ‘nominated person’, the use of police custody and ambulance conveyance.  

There are several other consultations currently open that we are formulating our responses to, including the Regulating Healthcare Professionals, protecting the public (DHSC) and the Duty of Candour and Being Open (DoH, NI). To read our responses to all the consultations in full go to the Statements and Consultations webpage.  

 

March 2021

National Ambulance Clinical Supervision Framework
Following a recommendation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) to the College of Paramedics, and a recommendation from the ‘Carter Report’ to the Association Ambulance Chief Executives the Ambulance Clinical Supervision Steering Group was formed. This Steering Group tasked a national working group to develop a framework for clinical supervision for all ambulance service staff and paramedics in all clinical settings. The working group has representatives from all 4 nations and St John Ambulance, and aims to publish this framework in 2021.

The Medical Management of Post-conducted Energy Devices (CED) in Police Custody – at a glance guidance.

The College of Paramedics has recently reviewed the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine guidance on the management of patients that have been subject to conducted electrical devices to ensure that it is robust and pertinent from a custody paramedic profession perspective.

Primary and Urgent Care Update
Now Health Education England’s First Contact Practitioner Roadmap to practice for Paramedics document has been published, a few enquiries are trickling through from those who have struggled to access some of the necessary e-learning modules. The link for the personalised care modules is here. We have the necessary details to report ongoing issues so do contact us if you continue to experience problems. The primary care specific modules are on the e-LfH website, don’t be put off or offended that the title is related to MSK and still has some heavy physiotherapy focus, this was the template for all professions, and it is the principles that are important, as outlined in the recent INSIGHT article, this cannot be changed quickly nor without significant cost. The College is developing further resources to support our members navigating the Roadmap, keep an eye on the Primary and Urgent Care webpage.

The College is also exploring some hurdles our members have encountered in Primary Care such as eligibility to undertake sample-taker training for cervical screening, also, if the College could or should contribute or influence any discussions in terms of employment issues relating to, for example redundancy or maternity pay? Although you should always speak to your Practice Manager first. The College would like to remind members that union representation (if you are a member), normally taken for granted within Ambulance Trusts should always be considered if or when transferring into Primary Care roles. You may wish to discuss continuing your union membership or sourcing an alternative. We strongly advise you give this serious thought.

Clinical Development workstream survey.
Finally, please ensure you look out for the Critical Care, and the Primary and Urgent Care questionnaires that are currently running, this will help shape our workstreams to ensure all our members in these areas are supported and given development opportunities. The results will be presented at the National Conference in May.

NHS England (NHSE/I) have recently informed the College their ’Looking After You’ team have expanded upon their free health and wellbeing coaching offer, #LookingAfterYouToo, to create a second initiative #LookingAfterYourTeam, offering dedicated coaching support to all those who lead, manage and coordinate teams in Primary Care settings in England. Follow this link to Primary Care Coaching NHS England » Looking after your team to access a range of resources, including social media assets, a video, PDF case studies and posters, website and email banners. Take a look here also, there are some great resources Primary Care coaching - assets.zip - Google Drive  

Ambulance Service Suicide Prevention workstream
For several months the College of Paramedics have been involved with a NHSEI led workstream aimed at suicide prevention in the ambulance sector. This work is includes colleagues from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives and their member organisations, The Ambulance Staff Charity, The University of East Anglia, Health Education England and Public Health England. Several documents have been produced and are due for publication in the coming months, these include a national Consensus Statement on suicide prevention, ‘What Next’ and ‘Implementation Guidance’ documents and a comprehensive Postvention Guidance produced in collaboration with The Samaritans specifically for the Ambulance Services.

February 2021

RCUK draft 'Emergency treatment of anaphylaxis guidelines for healthcare providers'
The College has undertaken a review of the latest Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) guidelines on the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis guidelines for healthcare providers. Following a wider request for views, the College has made several recommendations which included:
• To include non-doctor roles (e.g. Specialist / Advanced Paramedic) within examples of those who may have the experience and knowledge of the safe use of IV vasopressors.
• To seek clarification on the RCUK position that to administer adrenaline as an emergency drug, you must be “working within the standards of the relevant regulator (e.g. Nursing & Midwifery Council; Health & Care Professionals Council)”. This statement appears at odds with schedule 19 of the human medicines regulation. The College of Paramedics recognises non-registered ambulance colleagues play a vital role in the prompt management of anaphylaxis in the community and therefore should not be excluded by the RCUK guidelines.

Response to HSIB ‘Thrombolysis Consultation’.
Following an investigation completed by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) the College of Paramedics was asked to comment on the draft report into heart attack care which includes the issue of thrombolysis and its place in the care of patients within ambulance services. Working with colleagues from the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) the College has submitted its comments to HSIB and we await further communication on the publication date of this report.

Consultation response for the final recommendations on the urgent and emergency care (UEC) standards from the Clinically-led Review of NHS Standards (CRS).
Following a review by NHSE/I around the four-hour target for EDs, a set of recommendations were drafted and were circulated for comment by all the relevant organisations and interested parties, of which the College of Paramedics was one. The new recommendations are set to include ambulance response times, metrics on non-conveyance & hospital handover delays amongst others. The College provided a detailed response to the consultation which highlighted both areas of support and aspects of concern for the various proposed recommendations. In particular, the College welcomes measures that strive to improve ambulance response times, support appropriate non-conveyance to hospital and reduce hospital handover delays which clearly benefits both our members and our patients. However, the College highlighted that it is vital that new targets do not place unnecessary pressure on paramedics and ambulance clinicians to not convey patients to hospital. The College feels that safe non-conveyance is only possible with increased education, training and clinical feedback processes for paramedics and ambulance clinicians, coupled with 24/7 access to appropriate community treatment / social care pathways which are supported by access to senior clinicians for shared decision making.
Click here for more information. 

National Institute of Health Research Incubator for Emergency Medicine - update
I represent the College of Paramedics on this incubator which really has not been in existence for very long and, added to that over the past 15 months it has been relatively inactive due to COVID-19.

It is hosted by RCEM but involves researchers involved in emergency medicine from allied health professions, nursing, and medicine.

Click here for more information.  

Professor Rick Body has led the Incubator from the beginning and has decided to stand down so two new Co Chairs have been appointed this year:
• Professor Heather Jarman
• Dr Ed Carlton
Rick has done an amazing job getting this incubator up and running and we are grateful for all of his hard work and, we now look forward to working alongside Ed and Heather.

We had a meeting this week and are looking to get the activities of the Incubator back on track. This forum will offer future opportunities for people from a variety of healthcare professions interested in research in Emergency Medicine. I will keep you up to date with developments. Please note I am also looking for opportunities to collaborate with organisations who we can work with to develop resources for paramedics working in non-emergency medicine settings.

Professor Julia Williams FCPara, Head of Research, College of Paramedics

January 2021

The new year has started like any other for the College of Paramedic’s staff, with the writing of the Annual Report for the previous year. This report will detail all activities, achievements and the financial situation of the College at the end of 2020. It will be published later in 2021 to coincide with our AGM. January 2021 also brings a renewed focus on Covid19, building on the work that occurred in 2020. The College of Paramedics continues to make its position clear through press engagement, social media and corresponding with national organisations and government, on a range of issues such as PPE, vaccinations, ambulance handover delays and the need for adequate support for the mental health and wellbeing of ambulance staff and paramedics in all settings. Our Education Team are also committed to continuing to support our student member colleagues in all four nations of the UK, who are experiencing interruptions to their academic studies and clinical placements due to the ongoing pandemic. An update letter has been sent to all student members. Our Covid19 webpage has more information and updates, click here to read.

Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities
We are working in collaboration with the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities who are seeking the opinions of doctors, nurses and paramedics, to help them identify and understand the drivers behind disparities within the health service. As part of their ongoing work the Commission is currently running focus groups for the professions above, which will include a number of College members from around the UK. Click here to learn more.

Launch of Health Education England’s ‘A Roadmap to Practice’ for paramedics in primary care
The Roadmap identifies the standards of practice expected for those paramedics wanting to work in primary care roles and those who already do so. It outlines the route from entry into primary care to the First Contact Practitioner role, and on to Advanced Practice, whether by an academic route or by the development of a portfolio. The roadmap for paramedics will guide our primary care paramedics to evidence their skills, knowledge and attributes to demonstrate such capabilities, and to thus work towards recognition and inclusion on HEE’s Centre of Advancing Practice Directories. Click here to learn more. 

Any enquiries on the work of the College of Paramedics should be directed in the first instance to enquires@collegeofparamedics.co.uk