Pictured, left to right, are new apprentices Paula Nanson, Kyle Peebles, Chris Armstrong, Jay Young, Adam Wallis and Sam Miller

NEAS welcomes new recruits

The trust's Patient Transport Service gains six new faces

North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NEAS) has welcomed six new apprentices.

Paula Nanson, Kyle Peebles, Chris Armstrong, Sam Miller, Adam Wallis and Jay Young have started their NEAS journey in the trust’s Patient Transport Service (PTS), which employs around 450 staff and took more than 550,000 patients to and from hospital appointments across the North East over the last year.

They will spend the next year in a customer service role in the working with mentors and experienced PTS staff, transporting patients with varying needs to hospital appointments, completing inter hospital transfers, hospital discharges and palliative care transport.

The NEAS apprenticeship scheme is run in conjunction with Northumberland College, with students spending 90% of their time gaining on the job experience and 10% of their time in the classroom.

PTS apprentices gain an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service and are given the opportunity to apply for permanent roles within the trust upon successful completion of the apprenticeship.

They are also given interview skills and the opportunity to gain their C1 qualification on their driving licence to enable them to work on the road.

Working in PTS can also lead to career in the A&E Emergency Care side of NEAS, which treats thousands of patients every day of the year.

Since 2012, NEAS has trained 45 PTS apprentices. Out of those, 44 have completed their apprenticeship and are still working for the trust today, either in permanent PTS positions, on the PTS Bank whilst they await a permanent position or in Emergency Care, working as Emergency Care Assistants, Emergency Care Technicians, or student paramedics.

They come from all walks of life and range in age from 18 up to 34. Our latest recruits are aged between 18 and 28.

Kyle, aged 18, of Gateshead, can’t wait to start his career in the PTS.

He said: “My dad’s a care worker and the more I talked to him about his job, and seeing how much pride he takes in what he does, the more I got interested.

“I’m looking forward to working with PTS. I like the customer care side of things, dealing with different types of people.”

Joseph Picola, aged 20, who recently picked up Intermediate Apprentice of the Year award at the Regional NHS Apprentice Awards, completed his apprenticeship on 7 April and is now training to become an Emergency Care Assistant, to be based in Hexham upon completion of his training.

“I really enjoyed my apprenticeship,” he said. “You get your C1 and qualification out of it, you get to know everybody and it’s like a family, everyone at your station supports you through what you’re doing and you’re constantly learning.

“It’s a very good experience and I would honestly recommend it to anyone who’s wanting to start a career in the service.”

Sam McSorley, Operations Manager for PTS North, said: “An apprenticeship with NEAS unlocks doors to so many positions on the front line of patient care. Our PTS apprentices receive exactly the same training as our substantive staff members and most have used it as a springboard to a career within NEAS either in PTS or emergency care.

“We take two intakes a year and we’ll be advertising for our September intake very soon so watch this space!”

Apprentices are also hired in other parts of the trust. NEAS is currently looking for a technical stores apprentice and a business administration apprentice.

For more information about these roles, as well as the other career opportunities within the trust, visit www.neas.nhs.uk/careers

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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