Helping to tackle the shortage of paramedics across the region

UCS paramedics course. Practical session,
Megan Cocksedge checks blood pressure.

UCS paramedics course. Practical session, Megan Cocksedge checks blood pressure. - Credit: Archant

Student paramedics at UCS are enthusiastic about their new course

UCS paramedics science course.
Some of the students with lecturer Mary Mutimer, who is also a para

UCS paramedics science course. Some of the students with lecturer Mary Mutimer, who is also a paramedic - Credit: Archant

There is a shortage of paramedics in this country and also in East Anglia.

But there are measures being taken to address this problem.

In Ipswich the first intake of students on the new paramedic science course at UCS have just returned to the Waterfront after gaining experience working alongside paramedics serving the local community, within the East Anglian Ambulance Service.

Course leader Lee Cunnell, himself a paramedic, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to train, to serve their community, and to have a great career in the health service.

“There is a national shortage of paramedics. Bringing this here, to Ipswich, has been a fantastic development and the whole community is going to benefit from it.”

The ambulance service had been really helpful, he said.

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“They are looking after them really well. The support in Suffolk has been incredible. They are all really supportive”

Course lecturer Mary Mutimer said: “they are in the front line, as extra members of staff alongside the paramedics.

“This course is very in-depth to enable people to become paramedics.”

The students, in this first year of the course, have been working alongside paramedics working out of two centres at Ipswich Hospital and Bury St Edmunds - as extra staff on ambulances or rapid response vehicles.

Often they are first to the scene of incidents or accidents, and the students have been able to help.

They have seen tragedy, and joy, working with the paramedics including sudden deaths and accidents.

Student Adam Hounslea, who is from Jersey, said: “And I did help deliver a baby.”

He chose Ipswich to take the course rather than somewhere else, because the Waterfront location reminded him of his home.

“It is a lovely place here. Walking back from the railway station, in the early hours, I feel safe here.

“All the people are helping to prepare us, and want us to do really well.”

When I visited the 13 students, in two groups, were working on practical emergency health scenarious - assessment and treatment of casualties.

They began the course in May.

The course will grow, with a second intake of 25 students beginning their first year in February 2016.

Students have come from as far as Wales and the Birmingham as well as Ipswich and across East Anglia.

Abbie Munden transfered from nursing. She joked: “The uniform is nicer.

“I really wanted to do this. It is a nice to have the opportunity.”

As a young teenager she visited Kenya, for a conference, and she would love to travel to help in that country in the future, she said.

Student Daniel Hughes said: “I am really enjoying it it. My nan thinks I am training to be a doctor!

“I am really enjoying it. It is fantastic.

Lecturer Mary Mutimer said: “It is really exciting to be a part of of these early stages and the development of these first pupils.”

They were looking forward to the course growing over the years ahead,” she added.

There is an open event at UCS on Saturday November 7 for the paramedics course, from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Lee added: “Anyone who is interested is welcome to come along to find out more.”

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