London Ambulance Service has suspended its paramedic final examinations while an external, independent and forensic investigation is carried out.
The allegation relates to in-house, final examinations of student paramedics and suggests that between 2008 and 2012 student paramedics had access to final exam papers. Most student paramedics are now trained through degree courses at universities
Chief Executive Ann Radmore said: “I was shocked and disappointed to hear this anonymous allegation and will not tolerate any form of cheating. Due to the seriousness of the allegation I have immediately suspended all paramedic final examinations, commissioned an independent and forensic investigation to establish the facts, and appointed an independent clinical expert to recommend any immediate action we need to take to reassure Londoners about our standards of clinical care.
“I am committed to sharing the findings of this independent investigation and being transparent throughout.”
The allegation relates to paramedic final examinations. Staff did complete the full required training, in both classrooms and in the work-place.
Ann said: “Throughout their career, paramedics are assessed and reviewed through work-place assessments. We also clinically review the paramedic’s medical notes of all our seriously ill patients, and hospital doctors then review this information before treating the patient.
“The great majority of our staff are not implicated in this allegation and are continuing to provide a good service to Londoners.
“We know that we have very low numbers of complaints. We respond to over 1.1m incidents a year and of these only 0.09 per cent results in a complaint. However, we must still ensure that all of our staff have the full and proper qualifications for their role.
“We must now let the independent investigation take its course: we don’t want to speculate or prejudice the outcome.”
Notes to editors:
- Between 2008 and 2012 around 850 students went through this paramedic programme.
- For more information please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286.
- London Ambulance Service receives around 1.7 million emergency calls a year and attends to 1.1 million incidents.
- The independent clinician we have appointed is Dr Simon Brown, the Assistant Medical Director, North, for South Central Ambulance Service, GP Principal and Chair of the JRCALC Guidelines Subcommittee.