Australasian paramedics set to join North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)

Date published: 09 July 2022

Fifteen paramedics who have trained in Australia and New Zealand will soon begin responding to 999 calls across areas of the North West as part of a brand new Health Education England (HEE) Ethical Migratory Pathway.

Developed through HEE’s Directorate of Global Health Partnerships (DGHP), the pilot gives an exciting opportunity for internationally educated paramedics in prehospital emergency care to join the NHS – the world’s largest single heath system. 

There are three UK ambulance services taking part with around 75 paramedics joining the NHS across the UK.

They have emigrated from all over Australia and New Zealand to work in England.

NWAS Director of People, Lisa Ward, said: “The North West has so much to offer and for those making the move, the job here is like no other.

"Not only is the North West one of the most vibrant places to live in, it is also one of the most challenging and varied environments you can work in as a clinician. 

"We are committed to providing services which embrace diversity, and which promote equality of opportunity and we welcome our latest recruits to our green family.”

The pilot is a positive partnership which will help to address the national shortage of paramedics in the UK as their skills are sought after across other parts of the health service. 

This is just one of the initiatives NWAS is looking at to continue to boost its paramedic workforce and respond to growing patient demand, alongside its UK recruitment.

Lisa added: “Our colleagues at London Ambulance Service have had similar initiatives to recruit paramedics from Australia and it now has a community of Australian paramedics all of whom are vital in helping care for patients.

"We would like this pilot to build on their successes.”

Ian Buczynski, Senior Programme Manager for Ethical Migratory Pathways at HEE, said: “When identifying countries to partner with, HEE looked for countries in which paramedics were trained to a similar standard to UK-educated paramedics and could meet the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) registration requirements.

“Also high on the agenda was to find countries which had an oversupply of paramedics and a history of migration from the country. Australia and New Zealand were identified as being the most closely aligned to these criteria and was selected for this pilot.”

HEE has run international ethical, sustainable, and education-based migratory pathways for several years to allow nurses, doctors, and radiographers to join the NHS.

This has paved the way for the pilot to target newly qualified paramedics from universities in Australia and New Zealand which run a paramedic practice, paramedic science and paramedicine bachelors programme like those offered by UK universities.

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