25 signatures reached
To: The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care
Urgent Paramedic support
This petition requests that the ‘Department of Health and Social Care’ changes the rules to allow the ‘Student Loan Company’ to provide loans to those undertaking training as a Paramedic that have a previous degree.
Further, that the NHS Business Service Authority offers the NHS Learning Support Fund to all Paramedic students, regardless of previous study.
Both of these changes to be made retrospectively so that those already committed/started training do not suffer detriment compared to future trainees.
Why is this important?
A lot of Health Care Professions are short of staff. They require a degree level of education, and all the professions are greatly enhanced by having a mix of school leavers and mature students undertaking the training.
Since 2017/18, mature students have been encouraged to apply, by offering those that already have a degree, a 2nd student loan. I emphasise this is a loan, involving the student taking on a debt of £27,750 over the 3 year course.
Since January 2020 there has been further encouragement to attract people into the Health Care Professions, including those undertaking their 1st degree and those undertaking their 2nd degree.
This encouragement is in the form of a non-repayable ‘Learning Support Fund (LSF)’ to the tune of £5,000 p/a.
Both the 2nd student loan and the LSF are available to those undertaking training in Nursing, Midwifery and many of the Allied Health Professions (AHP’s), including Radiography, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics, Podiatry and Speech and Language therapists.
The one glaring omission are the Paramedics in England. The group that during the height of the Pandemic has been described by UCAS as the ‘Firefighters of Healthcare’.
To be clear, a 1st degree application onto a Paramedical Science degree is entitled to both a student loan and the LSF.
But unlike Nursing, Midwifery and most AHP’s, a 2nd degree application to study Paramedical Science is not entitled to either a 2nd student loan or the support of the LSF. In other words, if a mature student with a previous degree wishes to undertake training to become a Paramedic, they have to fund everything themselves. Therefore, this petition is not asking for special treatment, it is simply asking for Parity with those professions already mentioned.
From this September 2021 the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have made it mandatory that all new Paramedics have to have a BSc qualification.
This is a Profession that we all rely on, it is a Profession that has staff shortages. It does not pay huge salaries and relies on attracting the right calibre of person that genuinely cares and wants to make a difference. The type of person that this petition concerns has been in the workplace, has built up some life skills and experiences and has decided that they want to contribute to society. They should be encouraged, not dissuaded by the huge financial burden. For the future well being of both the service and society, please sign this petition and please share this petition.