Julie Crossman, a lecturer from the Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research (WAPPAR) devised a leadership development programme with the Welsh Ambulance Service (NHS) Trust (WAST) to support the new leadership role of Senior Paramedic. Since January this year, over 30 Senior Paramedics were recruited, and this is a growing scheme with plans to develop more Senior Paramedics each year. A need was identified for a consistent, coherent and standardised leadership development programme to support staff in these roles. The resulting award is a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice (Leadership in Emergency Services).

The role of Senior Paramedic is a new initiative within WAST, and seeks to develop clinical leadership roles to support the Service in its ambitions to be more clinically led and to further develop an operationally effective service that’s fit for the future. It’s a position that’s intended to enhance the degree of frontline clinical leadership within the organisation with the prime intention of developing and improving practice as well as transform the means by which we shape the clinicians to deliver services.

All of the Senior Paramedics will pursue the qualification delivered by WAPPAR to ensure that they enhance and develop their existing leadership skills to undertake their role. It’s a programme that focuses on applying learning to professional practice and seeks to cultivate transformational leaders, engaging the workforce to meet the challenges faced in terms of improvements in clinical practice and transforming the way services are delivered. After completing the Postgraduate Certificate, students will be able to apply for the Chartered Manager Award within the University.

According to Julie Crossman: “I am excited by the opportunity to support the development of such a valued profession. The Senior Paramedics are a tremendous asset to WAST and I feel very fortunate to be playing a small part in their ongoing leadership development. The senior leadership at WAST have wholeheartedly supported the Senior Paramedics in terms of facilitating their leadership development, and UWTSD are working in partnership with WAST to present an engaging and meaningful programme to develop skills for the future.”

Recently WAST and UWTSD held a virtual event, and this was the first opportunity to bring the whole group together, and to find out how Senior Paramedics can get support from leadership . It was as an opportunity for the CEO Jason Killens to speak to the group, whilst also learning how important and vital this new role is to WAST.

Andy Swinburn, Associate Director of Paramedicine said: “The importance of this programme and coming together of our inaugural Senior Paramedic teams cannot be overstated. The creation of this position, coupled with this leadership education programme will be an instrumental step in the development of the organisation. Having all our Senior Paramedics together (albeit virtually) was a great opportunity to set the direction and recap on progress to date. I also want to thanks our CEO Jason Killens for taking time out to speak to the attendees and share his insights, expectations and future aspirations for the role and how the education will support this development.”

Recently Andy has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal, that recognises the hard work he has put it to the Ambulance Service and the NHS during his career.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David