Senior paramedic and senior EMT

Blurred ambulance

At the end of August I updated you over discussions between myself and Fraer Stevenson, UNISON Branch Secretary, over a pay banding agreement for Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. 

We have a shared goal to better support all staff, and this agreement allows us to recognise and acknowledge experienced staff on the frontline for the work they do in very difficult circumstances. Retention and support of existing staff is just as important as recruitment of new staff, and given the number of vacancies we had at the beginning of the year, we need to balance these elements. 

This agreement will introduce two new roles into the Trust; Senior Paramedic and Senior Emergency Medical Technician; we’re both delighted to be able to open this opportunity to staff in EEAST. 

Following feedback and engagement with staff, we’ve produced some Q&As to help staff understand the agreement.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh 

 

Q&As 

Are the numbers limited for internal staff? Will there be interviews?

No, numbers are not limited for internal applications, and there will not be interviews for existing staff. 

This is not a competitive opportunity; it is genuinely open to all existing staff to apply who meet the post qualification/registration requirement and would like the opportunity to develop.

 

How long will the opportunity be open?

This agreement sets a precedent for all staff to be able to progress now and in the future. 

 

What additional skills/training will these posts require?

Senior Paramedic

There are 3 routes to choose from: 

Mentor - this route is available to Paramedics with a minimum of 1 year post registration, who currently work mainly or solely on a DSA.

This route will involve registering to become a mentor and undergoing a level 5/6 mentoring qualification. 

Clinical - this route is available to Paramedics with a minimum of 1 year post registration, who currently work mainly or solely on an RRV.

The route will support more complex assessment and decision making for patients, so appropriately identified patients can be managed without the need to go to hospital.

Training will involve a four week theory and practical programme which will be completed in paid worktime. Staff will need to complete a portfolio of evidence along with a workbook. 

Combined route – this route allows staff to elect to undertake both pathways. Staff will need to complete the pathway relevant to the resource they are working on first. For example, a DSA Paramedic can undertake the clinical pathway – only after they have completed their mentor pathway, and an RRV Paramedic can commence the mentor pathway, when they have completed the clinical pathway.

All routes will require some study in own time. 

Any eligible paramedic wanting to complete the second pathway having completed the first pathway will be able to do so. For example a paramedic completed the clinical pathway and then wants to do the mentor pathway.  Staff would be welcomed to complete this additional element. This doesn’t detract from staff wanting to complete the combined pathway from the offset.

To successfully apply for either or both of these roles staff must be a HCPC registered Paramedic, have effective registration with no cautions or conditions of practice orders in place and have at least * one year post qualification experience working within Emergency Operations or HART.

*Qualified Student Paramedics (QSAPs) or HCPC registered Paramedics will retain the right to progress to the Senior Paramedic pathway immediately following registration, without the need for the 1 year post registration period, providing they were employed by EEAST as a QSAP on the UEA Certificate in Emergency Medical Programme (commenced prior to December 2013), were delayed in their progression by the Trust, and have remained as employees of the Trust. 

Senior Emergency Medical Technician

At this level Senior Emergency Medical Technicians will be expected to have a sound knowledge of the basic concepts and be able to demonstrate application of the principles and basic skills.

Training at this level will be in accordance with the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Ambulance Aid (or equivalent).

Staff will develop a demonstrable CPD portfolio covering at least 1 year post qualification experience, and complete key e-learning activities as identified by the Trust.

Attendance at mandatory and professional training will be as required by the Trust.

To apply for this position you will need to be an existing EMT, have successfully completed the Edexcel/IHCD training programme (or equivalent) and have at least one years post qualification experience working within emergency operations or HART. 

This pathway will require some study in own time.

 

Will accredited prior learning be applicable?

Yes. Many staff are already level 6 mentors, or have completed voluntary CPD that demonstrate the Paramedic clinical elements. The same will go for Emergency Medical Technicians that have additional qualifications, or have completed voluntary CPD that are relevant to the competences required.

 

How will the pay banding be applied?

On successful application staff will go across and up into the next pay banding, to the first point in the new banding that gives an increase. This is known as the first gateway. The trust will then provide the training, which will take time due to vast numbers of staff currently being abstracted for training and development. Staff will progress up the pay points annually from the date of application until a defined second gateway, regardless of the timescale the Trust takes to release staff for training. 

For example, a Paramedic on spine point 23 within band 5, would move across to band 6, and up to the first incremental point in band 6 that provides an increase, in this case spine point 24. The date of that move (the application date) then becomes their annual date of increase. 

 

When will training start for the new roles?

The Trust is going though an unprecedented period of staff development, and the training and abstractions required for the Senior roles will take time. Staff will not be held back financially as a result, and will continue to progress up the spine points regardless of the timescales.

If Paramedics elect to undertake both pathways of development (Mentor and Clinical), they will undergo the training relevant to the resource they are currently working on first.

Second pathways will be accommodated as soon as possible, although first pathways will take precedent in date order.

 

Will there be a requirement for staff to move stations/lines/DSA/RRVs?

No. This agreement does not require staff to move from their existing rota lines, or move between resources, for example from an RRV to DSA, or vice versa. The ability to transfer from stations or areas will also not in anyway be linked or restricted by these pathways or roles. 

Following application or completion of a pathway staff will be able to transfer in the normal way without this affecting their pay banding; providing they are still willing to use their additional skills, or mentor students if transferring between the same resources, ie DSA to DSA, or RRV to RRV.

At any point in the future, if a Paramedic wanted to move from their resource, either during their development or after completing their pathway, they would be able to do this, subject to transferring in the normal way, without dropping down any incremental points, providing they agree to become a mentor if moving onto a DSA, or join the clinical pathway if moving onto an RRV.

The choice of pathway will not limit the options and choice staff have over future transfers,

opportunities, or type of resource they work on, either substantively, as a temporary measure or when undertaking overtime.

 

Are bank staff able to apply?

Bank staff will be able apply for the new roles, although they will need to be issued with a substantive contract. We will look pragmatically at annualised, flexible contracts to allow staff to be accommodated.

 

What about QSAPs that have been delayed in their progress?

Qualified Student Paramedics (QSAPs) or HCPC registered Paramedics will retain the right to progress to the Senior Paramedic pathway immediately following registration, without the need for the 1 year post registration period, providing they were employed by EEAST as a QSAP on the UEA Certificate in Emergency Medical Programme (commenced prior to December 2011), were delayed in their progression by the Trust, and have remained as employees of the Trust.

The Trust did not keep it’s obligations to these staff and therefore these staff will not be further disadvantaged.

 

Will this be available for external staff to apply for?

Yes. We have hundreds of vacancies on the frontline, and although we are making excellent progress in recruiting Student Paramedics, we will be advertising these Senior roles to experienced Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians as an external direct entry opportunity.  However, existing staff will take priority over direct entry staff.

If we can attract experienced EMTs and Paramedics to EEAST it will assist us in recovery, further boosting our frontline staff numbers and help provide a better working environment for all staff and enable us to be where we need to be for our patients.  

 

When undertaking overtime, will this be at the new banded rate?

Yes. After application staff undertaking overtime will be paid at the new rate.

 

Will we be issued with different epaulettes?

No. The cost of issuing new epaulettes would be vast and we think it is better to use that money to recruit more staff and better support our existing staff through offering development opportunities like these. On completion of the pathways we will issue staff with a new ID card to identify their Senior role.

 

How do I apply?

Staff can apply by completing the downloadable form which will be in the HR Ezine from tomorrow (Friday 3rd October) at 5pm. You will need to email this to your SLM. This will ensure that we have a tracked copy of your application, so we can ensure back pay to the new band is from the appropriate date.

 

What if I fail part of the course?

Staff will be given support and development to achieve the requirements, including resitting elements if needed.

If staff decide they do not wish to continue as a mentor, or work at Senior level, they will be required to return to their original banding.

 

When will the increase in banding be applied?

The date of application will be taken as the date of banding increase. Due to payroll timescales this may mean back dating of payments.

 

Will HART Paramedics and EMTs be able to apply?

Yes. This opportunity is open to all Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians currently working, or willing to work within Emergency Operations and HART.

 

Is this related to the National pay ballot?

No. Discussions over the pay bandings have been ongoing for some months, as reported in the April UNISON newsletter. This is about recognising the dedication and commitment of our staff who are taking on extra responsibly, and making sure everyone has the chance to progress in their role.

 

What about ECPs/CCPs/Paramedic Practitioners?

In general terms we aren’t looking to offer the re-banding for ECPs or CCPs at this time because they already have advanced clinical skills. The Senior Paramedic role will be capped at the second gateway, whereas ECPs/CCPs are able to progress to the top of band 6.

Funding for post graduate opportunities were published in NTK on 11th August, and these may be of particular interest to ECPs/CCPs: http://ntk.eastamb.nhs.uk/news/opportunities-to-further-your-clinical-development.htm

 

What about ECAs?

Our ECAs are and will continue to be a very valued part of our service; ECAs aren’t included in this banding increase because we have stopped ECA recruitment and we are offering all of you the opportunity to progress onto EMT level – a pathway and opportunity that’s not been provided by this Trust before. We absolutely support progression for all staff and hope many ECAs will consider taking up this development opportunity. We are making progress on how a modular ECA – EMT course will work, and will have more news on this soon. 

Any ECAs progressing to EMT will then be able to progress to Senior EMT, after they have one year post qualification. As this agreement sets a precedent for all staff to progress now or in the future, an ECA progressing to Paramedic, can also elect to become a Senior Paramedic, subject to having a year post HCPC registration and have effective registration with no cautions or conditions of practice orders in place.

 

Can I read the actual agreement?

Yes, the agreement is available for all staff to view - please click here.

 

What if I have another question?

Simply email rumourbusting@eastamb.nhs.uk

Published 2nd October, 2014

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