Ambulance workforce

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A new deal for paramedics, which will see them move up the pay scale from band 5 to band 6, and meet the ambitions of the Urgent and emergency care review, was agreed by ambulance unions, employers and arms-length bodies in December 2016.

The agreement, which was jointly decided by NHS Employers, the Department of Health, ambulance unions, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, NHS England and NHS Improvement is in recognition of the additional responsibilities and knowledge needed by paramedics to carry out increasing amounts of clinical work. 

The NHS Staff Council has agreed a new job profile for paramedic at pay band 6. Our emergency services national job profiles contains information on the new profile, guidance for the job matching process and frequently asked questions. 

The newly qualified practitioner role

Trade unions and employers recognise that new paramedics should be supported when they start to apply their knowledge and skills in their first substantive role. The December 2016 agreement also included the development of a 24-month consolidation of learning programme for newly qualified paramedics. This is designed to support new paramedics to deliver the scope of practice demanded by current out-of-hospital emergency healthcare.

The duties and responsibilities of newly qualified practitioners (NQPs), in line with Health and Care Professions Council standards, are described in a nationally agreed generic job description which will be adapted for use locally by each trust. The NHS Staff Council’s Job Evaluation Group have developed a new profile in line with the job description. 

The additional support given to NQPs in decision making at the start of their careers places the role in pay band 5. Upon completion, NQPs will automatically move into a paramedic role in pay band 6 where they will be autonomous within the scope of their clinical practice. Newly qualified paramedics commencing employment on or after 1 September 2016 will undertake the consolidation of learning programme.

Consolidation period framework

NQPs will own and maintain a portfolio of agreed learning outcomes that will be evidenced in order for the individual to progress through the consolidation period and individual trusts will determine how best to support their new paramedics during the consolidation period. The consolidation of the application of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in operational settings will be assessed against standard specified learning outcomes.

A new schematic has been produced to describe the two year post-registration consolidation period. 

The fast track programme for newly qualified paramedics is currently in development. This is expected to be completed shortly and will be based on nationally agreed principles

Further information

Frequently asked questions on the newly qualified role.

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