London Paramedic Opportunities.
The getting started guide you must read.
London Ambulance Service.
Diploma-qualified APC graduate pathways.
Important!: Owing to the Coronavirus Pandemic, travel to London has been severely restricted.
A unique opportunity to work with the London Ambulance Service.
Important!: Owing to the Coronavirus Pandemic, travel to London has been severely restricted. Nevertheless, read on and discover just what can be achieved if you put you mind to studying and have a plan to go off in search of adventure (one day soon).
In a pre-coronavirus world, Australian Paramedical College graduates had the opportunity to apply for
the position of Paramedic with London Ambulance. Some still work there today.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) has in the past recruited APC diploma students to work in the UK as a Paramedic. Talks with LAS revealed an opportunity for APC graduates who seek adventure and travel.
Why? Because LAS recognised the excellent training facilities and high-level competence of APC diploma-qualified graduates across a range of clinical disciplines including pharmacology, trauma care and advanced life-support techniques.
“As long as applicants can demonstrate clinical knowledge and meet the standards and criteria, we encourage graduates to apply.”
An opportunity to live and work in London.
About the London Ambulance Service
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is one of the world’s busiest ambulance services. The impact of Coronavirus has also stretched the service to its limits since the pandemic began. We realise employment circumstances have changed in the UK, however, this article was written before the pandemic occurred. Please read this within the context of when the article was written.
The opportunity to live and work in this amazing, bustling city provides APC graduates with a level of experience which is second to none. Living and working in London, means you will have the opportunity to rapidly develop your clinical skills as a recognised Paramedic; and also have the legal right to use that title in the UK.
LAS is a huge organisation, with over 5,000 staff; 3,500+ are front line paramedic crews based out of 70 ambulance stations across metropolitan London. Approximately 500 staff manage their two 999 despatch/control rooms and hundreds of support staff provide additional services from locations across the city.
Emergency health care services are provided free to more than 8.5 million people living in the London area. A truly multicultural city in every sense, London’s population comprises of many nationalities and backgrounds who live and work in the metropolitan area, which is around 620 square miles in size (about 990 sq. kilometres).
The main role of LAS is to respond to emergency 999 calls, delivering urgent medical help to patients who have serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Since Coronavirus, the LAS has seen its services in great demand and will continue to do so for some time.
With around 5,000 emergency calls per days, almost 25% are immediately life-threatening (Category A), there’s no such thing as a routine job or a ‘normal’ day working with the London Ambulance Service.
Factor in the world’s busiest airport (Heathrow), the enormous underground train network, the busy tourist sites, major public and cultural events and of course a population in the millions; you’ll quickly see why LAS places so much emphasis on finding the right people to carry out the vital work that they do.
600 Paramedics hired to work in London.
To give some context, London Herald newspaper ran a story indicating LAS urgently required over 600 paramedics to work with them (pre-covid). Accounting for the 300+ Australians it intends to hire, there was still a huge shortfall of over 100 Paramedics (2019).
There is no doubt there were real opportunities for Diploma of Paramedical Science (superseded by HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care) qualified graduates from the Australian Paramedical College to head over to work in the UK as a Paramedic.
Like nothing you can ever imagine.
LAS have told the Australian Paramedical College that working in London is ‘like nothing you can ever imagine’. For those who have never been to the UK before, be prepared to experience a new and exciting way of life in every sense of the word. In terms of pre-hospital healthcare experience, new recruits will learn so much in a short space of time. You’ll gain more experience than some paramedics who have practiced for many years in Australia in the same time frame.
This is because London is so densely populated which means a high volume of emergency call-outs.
London also has a wide range of socio-economic issues which are reflective of the activities of LAS. With such a disparity between the mega-wealthy sector and those living in poverty, working in London can be a real eye-opener.
In low income and unemployment areas of London, health education and literacy is a real problem, which contributes to the high volume of triple nine emergency calls.
As a Paramedic in London, you’ll see all walks of life – from elegant Mayfair hotels to run-down apartment blocks. You will receive ongoing training to prepare for life on the streets because you have complete autonomy to make clinical decisions on the ground.
Every day in London is different and unpredictable.
Although emergency medical care for patients is a top priority, many patients have less serious illnesses or injuries and do not need an ambulance.
Often these patients will receive more appropriate care somewhere other than a hospital. A wide range of care is provided to these patients, recognising that many have complex problems or long-term medical and/or mental health challenges.
As an integral part of the National Health Service (NHS) in London, LAS works closely with hospitals and other healthcare professionals, as well as with other emergency services such as Police and Fire. They are also central to planning for and responding to, large-scale events or major incidents in the capital.
Attending to about 1 million patients a year, LAS is experiencing a tremendous demand for additional health care specialists and is prepared to train the right people to fill these roles.
The UK is also set to follow the Australian model where a mental health response team can be dispatched to non-life-threatening situations, leaving Paramedics to respond to 999 emergency calls.
Getting to know London.
Another vital part of your research if you are thinking of working in London is to get to know the terrain and the layout of the city. It’s a huge city with so much history and culture. Go to Google Earth and Google Maps; traverse the streets of London, see where the hospitals and ambulance stations are located; get a feel for the place and immerse yourself in it.
Traversing London – getting the experience.
With its 3500+ on-ground staff, operating out of 70 locations means anything can happen, including where you will be stationed.
The reality is, as a new recruit, you will be placed wherever you are needed the most. You could be stationed somewhere for a month or a few days at a time. Relief rostering may require you to go to a different location every couple of weeks, working with crews you’ve never met before.
This is part of the appeal of the job as a London Paramedic. You get to meet so many new people and create new friendships and experiences. The variety of work scenarios, conditions and challenges are difficult to be matched in Australia. At least the frequency of call-outs would be far greater than that of an Australian city.
Keep an open mind, manage your expectations accordingly and be grateful for the opportunity.
Equipment and resources.
As a Paramedic working in London, you are required to carry your own personal kit, or response bag as it is referred to. This means you take your kit home with you after every shift.
The kit is stocked with the same essential equipment you will find in Australia to handle airway management, dressings for wound management, sharps disposal containers etc.
Restocking your kit is arranged at the station you will be stationed at.
Your ambulance, of course, is fitted out with the essential equipment to perform your job, it’s just restocking your response bag that you may be responsible for.
Getting a UK work visa.
Most new recruits opt for the 2 year working Visa (which also allows spouse) and tend to extend their Visa and stay for another 2-3 years.
It’s thought about 50% of paramedics return home to Australia and the other 50% stay on because they just love living and working in London.
It’s also possible to apply for citizenship after completing several years in the service.
One of the biggest questions you should ask yourself is ‘what do you want of out the opportunity to go to London and work as a paramedic?’ Perhaps its short-term hands-on experience or maybe a long term rewarding career.
London Paramedic – how much can you earn?
One of the important considerations before jumping on a plane to the UK is understanding just how much a London paramedic earns?
You can Look at some of the recent job vacancies on the London Ambulance website, but here is an overview of the type of salary you can expec:.
For the sake of this exercise, let’s take the current UK pound to AUD exchange rate as
1 Australian dollar = 57 pence (1 pound = $1.76).
So for every 100 pounds earned, you receive the equivalent of $176 Australian dollars.
London Paramedic jobs (permanent contract roles).
Hours: 37.5 Hours Per Week
Location: London area
Working in and around London you will be awarded a base salary plus a supplement;
- high cost area supplement (HCAS) of 15% working the outer London area
- high cost area supplement (HCAS) of 20% for working the inner London area
Newly Qualified Paramedic (APC): Band 5: £23,023 to £29,608 pa
AUD$52,100 + max HCAS of 20% =$62,532
Before tax per week: $1202.53
After tax: $962.00
Qualified Paramedic: HCPC Registered: Band 6 £28,050 to £36,644 pa
AUD$64,528 + max HCAS of 20% =$77,434
Before tax per week: $1489.00
After tax: $1191.20
The UK income tax rate if you earn under £46,350 is 20%.
If you earned the same amount in Australia you would be taxed at 32.5%. So you can see an instant benefit there – 12.5% more money in your pocket.
Plus – you may also receive unsocial hours overtime payments (under the provisions of Section 2: maintain round the clock services). Exact salary will depend on location and working patterns.
Considering the starting salary for a uni graduate in Australia is around $60,000, London is quite appealing, especially when you factor in how close Europe is and how cheap it is to fly to Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, France etc from about £30 ($52).
UK Clinical Practice Guidelines (CSOP)
The scope of clinical practice in the UK is similar to that of Australia. Of course there are some differences in their National Scope of Practice, however, these are covered in an induction course where new paramedics are familiarised with the LAS NHS CPG’s.
LAS clinical guidelines are managed by the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee and are referred to as JRCALC. They provide guidance for UK Paramedics, although the principles are applicable to the work of all pre-hospital clinicians.
You can also get the phone APP here:
UK Paramedic Registration.
As a practicing health care clinician in the UK you are also required to be registered with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
The HCPC set the standards for professionals’ education and training and practice as well as keep a register of professionals, known as ‘registrants’, who meet the required standards.
Registration can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to 2-3 months.
London Ambulance Service values.
Respectful – Caring for our patients and each other with compassion and empathy. Championing equality and diversity. Acting fairly.
Professional – Acting with honesty and integrity. Aspiring to clinical, technical and managerial excellence. Leading by example. Being accountable and outcomes orientated.
Innovative – Thinking creatively. Driving value and sustainable change. Harnessing technology and new ways of working. Taking courageous decisions.
Collaborative: Listening and learning from each other. Working with partners. Being open and transparent. Building trust.
Application process and requirements
Please bear in mind, this article was written before Coronavirus. The information given is based on the facts at the time and may not be applicable to today’s situation.
- Provide CV, qualification(s) and work experience
- Give your reasons as to why you want to work with LAS
- You will be asked questions on problem solving and resolution outcomes
If successful at this stage, you will be shortlisted
- A Skype interview – how you see yourself meeting the NHS Trust values of Respectful, Professional, Innovative and Collaborative.
- Clinical assessment – two-way discussion, physiology, pharmacology, ethics etc
- Safety assessment, physical capacity fitness – beep test, exercise physiology, bike test, endurance, core strength etc which will be conducted in Australia.
- Applicants can also get a lot of information from the website – we encourage you to do your own research
- A successful Police check
- A good driving record, full manual driving license valid in the UK, with no more than 3 penalty points and yes – they drive on the same side of the road as we do.
- Health Care and Professional Council (HCPC) registration. AUD$350 or £180 for 2 years. The HCPC is similar to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Employment benefits of working with the London Ambulance Service:
- 3 weeks paid classroom-based course plus 300 hours operational placement
- 4 weeks blue light emergency driving course for those who do not hold the Emergency Blue Light Driving Award
- Clinical Induction tailored to your job
- Protected training and continued professional development
- A clinical career path which is well established and expanding
- Regular clinical updates
- Enhanced hands-on experience across the spectrum in the Service
Read these first
LAS Policy and Procedures
A good PDF explaining the London Ambulance Service
LAS Social Media