Uni tackles shortage of paramedics
New course aims to boost numbers
The number of paramedics working in the north and north-east could soon be bolstered with the roll-out of a new university course.
Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen will launch a paramedic undergraduate course next year.
Concerns have been raised about the shortage of ambulance cover in Grampian and the Highlands, with underpressure staff drafted in to cover for colleagues as they transfer patients elsewhere or take sick leave.
RGU’s BSc paramedic practice will tackle that, giving students access to localised education and training opportunities, while addressing the requirement for registering as a paramedic through the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Principal Professor John Harper said: “It is a great privilege to be selected to provide this course in Scotland, adding to our proud history of quality healthcare education which addresses national skills needs.”
Currently students in Scotland study paramedic science/practice at the Scottish Ambulance Academy (SAA) at Glasgow Caledonian University with entry to the HCPC register at diploma level.
But from September 2021 students will need to achieve a bachelor’s degree to become a registered paramedic.
Professor Ian Murray, head of the school of nursing and midwifery at RGU, said: “We will be working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to develop the new course and train the future paramedics of Scotland.
“The two contracts awarded will involve a minimum of 40 students per year and will significantly increase the reach of our demand-led teaching,” he added. Four other providers successfully bid to bring paramedic undergraduate education to their institutions, but RGU was the only university to successfully win contracts for two regions: Grampian and the Highlands and islands.
Pauline Howie, SAS chief executive said: “We are absolutely delighted to work in partnership with these universities.
“It is exciting to know they will be educating new generations of paramedics who will enter the workforce armed with the latest skills and trained to the highest standards.”