SWASFTs Talent and Clinical Workforce Strategy Strategy (2014) provides the Trusts strategic approach to developing its clinical staff. A range of pathways are offered.
ECA to Paramedic Distance Learning Programme
SWASFT has now commissioned a distance learning pathway to replace the Open University (OU) Paramedic Science programme, following the OU’s decision to cease providing this.
The new programme leads to a Diploma in Higher Education (Dip.HE Paramedic Science) and is due to start in April, 2016, with a further run in October.
Places are limited and advertised in the Chief’s Bulletin when available. Funding is via the Trust’s Salary Deduction Scheme.
Advanced Practitioner / Specialist Paramedic update
The role of the Specialist Paramedic has evolved rapidly over the past decade with specialist and advanced clinicians becoming more in demand. Many paramedics are looking to develop within SWAST so as to be able to take on new roles as they arise. Definitions of what constitutes ‘specialist;’ or ‘advanced’ are confused by the paramedic use of the word, where it implies a higher level of generalist, rather than the wider NHS understanding, meaning a subject specialist (e.g. paediatrics, palliative care etc.) But all professional groups require advanced practitioners to be qualified at Masters degree level.
The College of Paramedics Post-Registration Career Framework recommends specialist paramedics to have attained a Post Graduate Diploma (P.G. Dip) and advanced paramedics to be M.Sc. qualified.
All this can seem quite daunting, but it should be remembered that some universities allow you to start postgraduate education without having completed a B.Sc. Also, whilst it’s very difficult to fund time away from operational duties, we can help with funding for tuition fees. Look on the www.learnwithswasft.co.uk website for details of various modules available which you can take one at a time with a view to incorporating into an award (discuss your aims with your chosen university).
In order to enable staff develop in their urgent care skills we have developed a pathway which is outlined below. As well as funding for the academic tuition fees, we have also designated some money to support placement costs (we are generally charged by providers) and also access to the College of Paramedics Diploma exam, which is run by St Georges Medical School, London and which many SWAST SPs will already be familiar with. The point being, that as well as learning the theory, practice-based learning is vital to make a safe and confident SP or advanced paramedic.
As an advanced level senior clinician at SWAST you will be expected to follow an academic route towards an M.Sc. award, with successful completion of the CoP Exam.
Alongside this, we envisage that you will gain evidenced experience in a variety of roles & placements, to become a truly rounded, credible and experienced Advanced Paramedic.
These would comprise (as a minimum) of:
- Remote Clinical Decision Making – SWAST Hub secondments / rotating contracts
- Primary Care – Secondments / Placement / additional contracts / rotating contracts
- A&E Operations- Paramedic duties
Although the specifics of this role and its utilisation are not yet finalised, we are able to offer a variety of academic modules to enable this journey. (The placements and secondments process is not yet finalised).
You will be expected to apply for them and complete them in your own time as you would any other academic module, and you will be subject to the same funding terms and conditions as any other academic module.
You are expected to complete the MSc in the time frame stipulated by the University provider that is granting the award.
For the most committed candidates, SWAST aims to fund as many parts of this journey as possible, but all of the modules will offer valuable experience and academic qualifications that can be put to good use elsewhere in the Trust.
An example of the educational journey can be seen HERE
Updated Sep 2017
Cumbria BSc Top up - Funded
Opening soon for applications for 2017/18!
Fully funded BSc Distance learning top up
Applications must be submitted via the Aspire website
Click here for Cumbria advert details