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Welsh paramedics benefit from University education

Swansea University School Of Health Science : 22 January, 2008  (New Product)
A new partnership between Swansea University’s School of Health Science and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust is seting out to revolutionise the way Welsh paramedics will educated in the future.
The collaboration means that all paramedics will take part in a Higher Education programme that meets the academic and professional requirements of Swansea University and the Health Professions Council (HPC).

The project is a result of the Welsh Ambulance Services’ commitment to respond to the wider changes in the pattern of disease and injury; the impact of technology; patient and service delivery needs, and the consequent expanding role of the paramedic profession.

Announcing the collaboration, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust chief executive, Alan Murray said: “This unique partnership forms part of one of the many pioneering initiatives that the Welsh Ambulance Services have recently implemented, ultimately aimed at transforming the ambulance services in Wales to provide the very best provision of care to patients.'

“Swansea University has a national reputation as a centre of excellence for paramedic education in Wales, having run the BSc Pre-Hospital Care degree for the last decade. It is an active member of the Higher Education Ambulance Development Group (HEADG), and works closely with the British Paramedic Association (BPA).

“All these competitive advantages make it an ideal educational partner for the Welsh Ambulance Services, as we seek to enrich the learning experience of our ambulance staff and produce practitioners who have the knowledge, skills, aptitudes and attitudes to play an increasingly important role in an ever-changing modern healthcare service.'

Professor Melanie Jasper, head of the School of Health Science at Swansea University said: “We recognise that the move to higher education is a significant development in the history of the ambulance service, and we are extremely proud to have been selected as its premier partner in providing training for paramedics across Wales.

“This new initiative will see the University implementing a range of education and developmental packages designed to meet the needs of the whole profession across Wales.”

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust national training manager, Mike Collins added: “I am delighted for my team to have the opportunity to collaboratively deliver the Higher Education Paramedic Science programme alongside colleagues from the School of Health Science at Swansea University.

“This programme will ensure that paramedics continue to deliver clinical excellence to patients throughout Wales.”

The range of courses, to be introduced at Swansea, include a Diploma of Higher Education, expansion on the very successful Pre-Hospital Care undergraduate degree, and a Masters degree for paramedic practitioners.

Considerable work has been undertaken and is still ongoing to develop the Paramedic Science Curriculum in line with national and professional guidance.

“These new educational programmes have been designed to meet the new models of healthcare service delivery, and will be structured around the British Paramedic Association’s (BPA) curriculum framework,” said Professor Jasper.

“Ultimately, this new partnership will raise the level of education for paramedics in Wales, elevating the level of care our ambulance staff provide to patients.”
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