27 January 2017 - NWAS partners with the University of Cumbria North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has launched a new partnership with The University of Cumbria to tackle a shortage of trained paramedics in the Cumbria area. The partnership sought to develop a new teaching programme at the University of Cumbria that allows students to qualify as practicing paramedics within two years. The Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Paramedic Practice is set to open its doors to the first cohort of students in April 2017. A second intake will commence in September 2017. The University is hoping to recruit 50 students annually to offset the demand for paramedics within Cumbria. John Gillespie of NWAS comments: "The profession has become a victim of its own success with skilled staff moving to other areas of the NHS and to the expanding private sector, resulting in a shortage of practicing paramedics in the area." The programme will be taught at the University’s Ambleside campus with placements taking place across Cumbria. The aim of the programme is to equip practitioners with the necessary knowledge, understanding, skills and competence to practice as a paramedic. Tom Davidson of The University of Cumbria said: "We’ve been running this course for about four years with the military and have trained over 100 paramedics and 300 technicians and are now focusing on training local Cumbrians." The students will also have an opportunity to ‘Earn as you Learn’ by applying for a contract with NWAS to work as an Emergency Medical Technician. NWAS has worked closely with The University of Cumbria to ensure that by the end of the first year the student is competent to work at EMT level. This opportunity will enable students to consolidate practices and embed themselves within the Trust and it will guarantee an interview to all successful graduates. The University is currently accepting applications for the April 2017 intake of the DipHE Paramedic Practice programme via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using course code B950.