The first cohort of student paramedics at the University of Sunderland

Future paramedics invited to university open day

Future paramedics invited to university open day

Future paramedics are being invited to a university open day to find out more about a career in the ambulance service on Wednesday 9 November at National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) teamed up with University of Sunderland last year to develop a new bespoke specialist training programme in a bid to help address the paramedic shortage locally.

The two year Diploma of Higher Education in Paramedic Practice has been accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is tailored to meet local needs, with a maximum of three cohorts of 20 students per year.

Recognising the need to develop its own staff, the first two courses were only open to internal applicants from within NEAS.

The April 2017 intake will be the first course where external applicants are invited to apply – and, in preparation for the course opening for applications, an open day will be held next Wednesday, 9 November.

Caroline Thurlbeck, Director of Strategy, Transformation and Workforce at NEAS, said: “Being a paramedic is intense and challenging but is also one of the most rewarding careers available.

“Like all ambulances across the UK, we are experiencing a paramedic shortage in the North East and this new course in Sunderland allows us to invest even more in our local area.

“We always knew this new course with the University of Sunderland would be popular but have been overwhelmed by the interest shown so far. It’s great to know there is so much interest in joining our service and, having recently been rated as Good by the Care Quality Commission, it’s an exciting time to join NEAS.

“Our open day will give potential candidates the chance the find out more about what the course entails and learn more about a career with the ambulance service.

“So if you’re considering a career as a paramedic, we’d love to meet you.”

The open day event will take place at National Glass Centre in Sunderland and two sessions are available, from 10am-12noon or 1pm-3pm.

Representatives from NEAS and the University will be available to provide information and answer questions.

Anyone wanting to come along is asked to book online at

Sue Brent, Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences in the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, said: “We’re delighted with how the programme is progressing and the interest from prospective applicants. The feedback we’ve had from Paramedic Programme students is that they value the teaching and access to industry-standard equipment and facilities, which is preparing them to be effective practitioners in what is often a challenging and fast-paced environment at the front-line of patient.

We’re committed to collaborating with our partners such as NEAS to find effective solutions to health and patient care challenges and ensuring that patients in our region receive quality health care.”

Rebecca Bynoe, one of the first students to have been accepted on to the course, said: “I’m really enjoying it so far. The facilities are great and I like that we’re taught by specialist lecturers such as cardiac nurses and doctors.

“It’s quite intense and a lot of hard work, you’ve got to put in what you want to get out of it, but it’s worth it.”

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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