Paramedic one of first to enrol on specialist programme

A PARAMEDIC in urgent care is among the first group to be enrolled on a new programme around prescribing medication to patients.

Kevin Amer, urgent care practitioner team lead at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, is studying a non-medical prescribing course at the School of Health and Social Care at Teesside University.

The programme, one of only a small number to be running at universities across the country, will give him the knowledge and skills to prescribe to patients safely and effectively.

Kevin has worked in NHS urgent care services over the last five years – and has been at the trust ever since it launched centres at the University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool in April last year.

The service is now consistently one of the top performing urgent and emergency care services in the country.

He said: “I am now an experienced urgent care practitioner, having worked in urgent care centres over the last few years.

“This course is the next step in my development, adding to my skills and knowledge and helping me become more autonomous in my role.

“Programmes like this provide staff with the skills they need to help provide the best care we can to patients.”

Nicola Grieves, the trust’s urgent care service clinical lead, said: “We are very fortunate to have such a fantastic programme being run by our local university partner.

“Kevin is one of the first paramedics to be on the course since it expanded to include paramedics – congratulations to him for getting to this stage.

“This programme is helping him develop his knowledge and experience, gained from working in a senior role now for a number of years. We are investing in our staff – helping them develop their careers with us so that we can build an experienced team which can provide the very best patient care.”

This level six undergraduate professional award is delivered over 18 weeks including a one-week initial block and weekly attendance, followed by a final week block, sharing learning with students at postgraduate level 7.

Participants spend 12 negotiated days in supervised supernumerary practice with a prescribing medical practitioner who acts as a practice assessor, as well as time with other medical and non-medical prescribers.

Bernadette Martin, programme lead and senior lecturer at Teesside University, said: “Independent and supplementary prescribing is an integrated feature of health service delivery, with some health specific professionals qualified to prescribe across a range of healthcare settings.

“Advancing roles within both nursing and allied health professions has provided a greater access to medicines. This award provides nurses and allied health professionals – including physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, dietitians and now paramedics – who are working in advanced practice roles with the knowledge and skills to prescribe safely and effectively.

“We are delighted to be one of a small few number of universities across the country to be running this fantastic programme.”

Kevin, pictured with (left to right) senior lecturer Debbie Osborne, urgent care clinical lead Nicola Grieves and programme lead and senior lecturer Bernadette Martin.

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