Scottish Ambulance Service to Train 200 More Paramedics

 Monday 14 March 2016

The Scottish Ambulance Service will invest £5 million this year to train an additional 200 Paramedics for frontline care in Scotland.

The programme will include 50 Specialist Paramedics with enhanced clinical skills to allow them to work more autonomously with an extended range of medicines, offering more treatments in communities alongside GPs and other health professionals.

The initiative will also recruit and train more than 60 new staff for deployment in Ambulance Control Centres.

The new Paramedics will be trained from the current cohort of around 1,100 qualified Ambulance Technicians, supported by a recruitment drive to backfill those who are moving into the Paramedic roles with over 200 new Technicians.

The Higher Education Diploma in Paramedic Practice is a 12 month course undertaken at the Scottish Ambulance Service Academy at Glasgow Caledonian University and includes 750 hours of practice placement as well as 5 weeks placement in hospital.

New Ambulance Technicians undertake an initial nine weeks of clinical and driver training, followed by 12 months of operational mentored practice placement before completing a further six weeks of classroom based clinical study to become fully qualified. Once qualified as an Ambulance Technician, they can then continue their clinical skills development further by applying to train as a Paramedic.

The recruitment and training initiative is in line with the Service’s strategy to continue to improve outcomes for patients by enhancing the clinical skills and resources.

Health Secretary, Shona Robison said:

“Our ambulance workers provide a first class service, often under challenging circumstance and we value their dedication extremely highly. This recruitment drive will enhance the service on offer, and ensure that staff are equipped with the appropriate skills, training and clinical support to be able to deliver even more care in the community.
“Through the 2016/17 budget we are investing an additional £11.4 million in the Scottish Ambulance Service, which will assist with the recruitment and training of more staff over the next five years.  This will allow the ambulance service to be better prepared to meet future needs and demands.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“The continued investment in more frontline resources is fundamental to delivering our ‘Towards 2020’ strategy which aims to provide the most appropriate care to every patient, whether at home or in the hospital. This year’s recruitment plan is the first phase of a 5 year programme that will enhance the clinical skills mix of our staff and introduce new ways of working to best meet the needs of patients in all of our communities.”

The Service currently employs around 1300 Paramedics, 1100 Ambulance Technicians and 350 control room staff on frontline emergency operations.