Lydia Harwood

Lydia HarwoodBlucher-based paramedic Lydia is originally from Darwen in Lancashire but took a punt on the North East after qualifying as a paramedic from Oxford Brookes University in 2019.

Prior to going to university, she worked on a palliative unit, and worked in a neurological rehab centre and did domiciliary care in the community around Oxford whilst at university.

Q. What attracted you to the job?

A. I always wanted to work in pre-hospital care. I struggle to keep still, coupled with wanting to help people, the fast pace and ever changing nature of this job attracted me greatly. In conjunction with this a close family friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. We also worked together through her diagnosis until she was no longer able to work and she always said that one day I would be a paramedic. Unfortunately she lost her battle with cancer at the age of 40 and when she passed away, I almost felt a duty to fulfil this. Safe to say she was 100% right (as per usual) as I have never looked back.

With my previous experience, I had seen first-hand what it can be like when a medical emergency occurs. I wanted to be that person to help, to fulfil patient centred care, to empower patients, not just through medical emergencies but in health education and choices around their care, for example palliative care.

Q. What is an average shift like?

A. An average shift is normally pretty bonkers, but I think that's more a reflection of my personality rather than the types of jobs!

Q. What skills do you think people need to be able to do your job?

A. Being a paramedic takes dedication and willingness to learn – the day you think you have seen it all or that you know the job is more than likely the day you should retire. You should always strive to educate yourself  to ensure your patient gets the best up to date care. I would also add a good sense of humour into the mix, it helps. 

Q. It can be a traumatic job at times, how do you look after yourself and what support do you get?

A. Speaking to your crew mates, other paramedics, 360 degrees feedback and debrief after the events, also counselling. 

Q. What has it been like working through the pandemic?

A. As a healthcare professional, the virus leaves you feeling helpless as you see your patient deteriorate despite knowing you've done everything you can, it’s heart-breaking and something I believe I will carry for the rest of my career. 

Q. Where do you see your career heading?

A. I would like to complete a masters and become a critical care paramedic. If I ever find the time, I would love to train as a midwife. 

Q. How do you feel about being part of the BBC Ambulance show?

A. I’m feeling incredibly nervous as apparently the camera adds 10lbs! It was a crazy week filming, but I enjoyed it immensely ​ 

Q. What impact do you hope the series will have in the North East?

A. I really hope it educates the public on what we can do as pre-hospital clinicians and that the days of 'ambulance drivers' are long gone. Also, what is an appropriate use of the ambulance service.

Q. What do you love about the North East?

A. I adore the North East, being from Lancashire then moving to Oxfordshire it was a completely random choice to move here as I had no family or friends up here, but I have never felt more at home and three years later I couldn't ask for better, more steadfast friends and such a loving boyfriend. I find that the North East, especially Northumberland, is almost a forgotten county in the UK as if everyone knew how beautiful it was, with the added extra of the lovely people, then it would be 10 times as busy. 

Share this page

Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

Back to top

Enable Recite