Robert Gordon University has successfully bid to bring Paramedic undergraduate education to the Highlands and Islands and Grampian, which will boost the capacity for training new paramedics in Scotland and enhance patient care.
The new BSc Paramedic Practice at RGU will be delivered from September 2020, giving students access to improved and more localised education and training opportunities.
The course is being developed to provide a new regional approach to education and training for the profession and addresses the increased learning requirement for registering as a paramedic through the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Professor John Harper, Principal of RGU, said:
“It is a great privilege to be selected to provide this course in Scotland, adding to our proud history of quality healthcare education which addresses national skills needs.
“By widening geographical access to the BSc in Paramedic Practice, we are increasing opportunities for students to learn the highly-specialised skills and knowledge required to treat more patients with complex needs both in and out of the hospital environment.”
From September 2021 all new paramedics students will need to undertake a degree-level programme to become a paramedic. Currently, all students in Scotland study paramedic science/practice at the Scottish Ambulance Academy (SAA) at Glasgow Caledonian University with entry to the HCPC register at diploma level. As paramedic education moves to a regional approach to increase training opportunities, students will need to achieve a Bachelor’s degree to become a registered paramedic.
Professor Ian Murray, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at RGU, said:
“This is a welcome addition to our course portfolio and fits well with the wide range of nursing, midwifery and allied health professions courses at RGU and our commitment to inter professional learning.
“We will be working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to develop the new course and train the future paramedics of Scotland. The two contracts awarded will involve a minimum of 40 students per year and will significantly increase the reach of our demand-led teaching.”
Four other providers successfully bid to bring paramedic undergraduate education to their institutions, but RGU was the only university to successfully win contracts for two regions: Grampian and the Highland and Islands.
Pauline Howie, SAS Chief Executive said:
“We are absolutely delighted to work in partnership with these universities. It is exciting to know they will be educating new generations of Paramedics who will enter the workforce armed with the latest skills and trained to the highest standards.
“These changes not only increase our capacity for training more paramedics, helping us meet predictions for future demands of patients, but they support the delivery of integrated health and social care.”
RGU has a long track record for delivering industry-leading healthcare education, as evidenced in the Guardian University Guide 2020 where it ranks top in the UK for health profession course satisfaction.