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Latest breed of 999 staff ready; In association with the NHS North East.

AMBULANCE service students in the North East are celebrating after receiving their first university-accredited certificate.

Sixteen North East Ambulance Service recruits passed the year-long course and received their certificate of higher education in pre-hospital care from Teesside Univ ersity.

This is the first course that has been accredited by the university as a universally recognised qualification and continues the rising professional status of paramedics which has seen the creation of a state-registered list of healthcare professionals.

Previously, students were taught under the guidelines published by Institute for Healthcare and Development (IHCD).

Sue Richardson, head of workforce development said: "These are the first students to take part in this universityaccredited certificate and this is a milestone for the North East Ambulance Service.

"We strive to continuously drive quality and standards up.

This course has taught the students not only a high level of academic knowledge, but also a high degree of clinical practice."

Graduate Thomas Kinnaird, who is based at Wallsend station, said: "It has been a really good day and a great chance to celebrate the hard work we have all put in over the last year.

"I am really grateful to the North East Ambulance Service as not only have I a new career that I love but I have a achieved an academically recognised qualification."

The students are continuing their academic career as they work towards their foundation degree in paramedic science.

Linda Nelson, principal lecturer at Teesside University's School of Health and Social Care, added: "The university is delighted to have students from the ambulance service for the first time.

"We've welcomed the opportunity to work in partnership with the trust to develop this innovative course."

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ACHIEVEMENT - the sixteen North East Ambulance Service students who have passed the year-long course
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 10, 2007
Words:295
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