University of East Anglia in bid to attract would-be paramedics

East of England Ambulance Service - Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

East of England Ambulance Service - Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Hopes of increasing the number of student paramedics in the region have been boosted by the launch of a new course at the University of East Anglia.

Officials at the Norwich-based university spoke of their excitement yesterday after unveiling a new paramedic science honours course, which is planned to start in September.

The three year course will come under the auspices of a newly created school of health sciences at the UEA, which will encompass the existing school of nursing sciences and school of rehabilitation sciences, if the course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Organisers hope to get 50 student paramedics to sign up to the BSc honours in paramedic science for the start of September and are looking to hire three to four extra staff to deliver the new course. The nearest course for paramedic students in Norfolk and Suffolk is currently at the University of Hertfordshire.

Rosie Doy, course director and assistant dean for learning, teaching and employability at the UEA, said the university was working closely with the East of England Ambulance Service on the new course.

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'We are recruiting, subject to approval, so we can help the ambulance service to build their workforce. We have a nice diverse family of healthcare professionals and this makes the family more complete.'

'We are working very closely with the ambulance service and other universities so we can make sure the graduates from our course are prepared for practice in a rural locality. The three year full-time course will cover lots of critical care and primary first contact care and mental health so they should be very prepared to deal with a huge number of different patients,' she said.

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The UEA will be staging a paramedic course open day on Saturday, March 1 and a website is set to be launched today.

The East of England Ambulance Service launched a recruitment campaign to hire 400 student paramedics last month, which has had more than 2,000 applications.

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