The first cohort of East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) staff to qualify as paramedics through a new apprenticeship degree programme with the University of Cumbria have been celebrated at a special ceremony after achieving ‘phenomenal results’.
The group of 20, who graduate at the University of Cumbria later this month, were presented with a certificate to mark their achievements on completing the Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship Paramedic Programme at a ceremony at The Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds. Over 80 per cent on the programme achieved an upper-class honours degree with five of the group achieving a first and 11 achieving a 2:1.
EEAST was one of seven ambulance services to sign up to the new BSc (Hons) apprenticeship paramedic degree course in 2021. The course was devised by the University of Cumbria for existing patient-facing staff, such as emergency care assistants, ambulance technicians and associate ambulance practitioners.
The course takes two years to complete, compared to three for a traditional degree in paramedic science, and allows staff to continue to work in frontline roles at EEAST while studying. The Trust is currently running three courses on this apprentice paramedic degree each year and the pathway is expected to provide the Trust with 500 newly qualified paramedics over the next seven years.