Visit from Chief Allied Health Professions Officer brought ground-breaking news for the Paramedic profession

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


On Tuesday 13 March, Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for NHS England, visited Oxford Brookes University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences to give a talk centred on the NHS England publication ‘Allied Health Professions into Action’.

In attendance were Brookes staff and students, alongside representatives from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, and the Royal College of Paramedics.

Suzanne’s engaging and informative talk was focused around opportunities to increase collaborative working within the AHP (Allied Health Professional) community - a beneficial step forward for patients and professionals alike. Particular attention was paid to how AHPs can lead and implement change by working together, with #StrongerTogether being the theme of the day.

It was officially announced that changes to legislation have been put in place to enable advanced Paramedics to independently prescribe medicines for the first time. This is ground-breaking news for the Paramedic profession, whose members have been working hard towards this goal for many years.

Independent prescribing will be available from early 2019, subject to approval from the Health and Care Professions Council (HPC). Advanced Paramedics who have successfully completed a higher education module at master’s level will be eligible to qualify as prescribers, practicing in clinical settings where procedures and governance arrangements have been implemented. This change is a further testament to the paramedic profession and its role as a high quality emergency care provider for patients.


The Royal College of Paramedics said of the new legislation:

“Over time and once fully implemented, patients will experience care in the most appropriate place; safe and timely access to medicines and improved outcomes. Advanced paramedics who are able to prescribe will play an important role as part of the multi-professional team and further contribute to meeting urgent demand on health services.”

Suzanne Rastrick, who qualified as an occupational therapist in 1986 after training at the Dorset House School of Occupational Therapy (predecessor to Oxford Brookes’ Faculty of Health and Life Sciences), received a warm welcome on the day. She was taken on a tour through the newly renovated skills labs and had an opportunity to talk to current students and staff, hearing about their experiences of the course and hopes for the future.

Thank you to everyone involved for an enjoyable and informative day, which emphasised the vital work that AHPs do on a daily basis and the improvements that could be made to the AHP community in the future.