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Norfolk/Suffolk: University of East Anglia aims to launch paramedic science course in a bid to boost ambulance service staff

PUBLISHED: 11:27 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:27 12 February 2014

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A three-year paramedic science degree programme is set to be launched at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in a bid to boost the number of frontline ambulance service personnel in the region.

The course is being run in conjunction with the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), which recently launched a major recruitment drive aimed at hiring more than 400 student paramedics.

The latest programme comes after a review published in November suggested the ambulance service needed 310 extra staff, including paramedics, in 2014/15 to fill a number of vacancies.

The course, which UEA says will be innovative and research-led, is now pending approval by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Rosie Doy, associate dean for the faculty of medicine and health sciences, said: “Paramedics need to be very experienced and very skilled with excellent decision-making skills and the role is evolving as we see a more aging population and more long-term conditions.

“It is vital that training evolves in a similar way and we are delighted that future paramedics will be able to benefit from the expertise and facilities available at UEA.”

Ambulance service bosses have previously admitted struggling to fill vacancies with a lack of paramedics nationally and funding problems compounding the issue.

But they hope initiatives such as the student paramedic programme and the potential new UEA course will alleviate the staffing issues.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “Our main priority is to reduce lengthy ambulance delays at the moment and in order to do this, we need more paramedics.

“There is a real shortage of paramedics in the county at the moment so we welcome courses such as this which will train the future generation of lifesavers in the east of England.”

Among the things that will be taught during the three year course are key clinical and assessment skills and developing confidence and skills in critical care.

An open day for paramedic sciences will be held at UEA on March 1.

For more information visit www.uea.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/degree/detail/bsc-paramedic-science

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