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Calling All Band 6 Paramedics – We want you!

  • Would you like to work within primary care and SWASFT on a rotation?
  • Would you like to be part of a development opportunity within a new role called First Contact Practitioner which could lead you towards specialist practice?
  • Would you like to increase your clinical knowledge and experience?
  • Would you like to engage with inter-professional learning and working to transform not only your clinical practice but pre-hospital emergency services?
  • Would you like to be able to increase your confidence to perform focused patient assessment to enable you to support a reduction in patient contact time?
  • Would you like to be able to respond and assess more patients in need of care during your working hours than you can currently?
  • What to know more…read on:


The Trust is working alongside NHS England & NHS Improvement, Health Education England, CCG/ICSs, Training Hubs and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in an exciting synergistic project to benefit the people of the whole South West Region.

The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) was intended to create additional capacity within primary care through a rotational model for Paramedics to rotate between the ambulance service and PCNs (50% of the time with each). Part of this model requires Paramedics to become First Contact Practitioners (FCPs), while on the job, whereby they will gain invaluable experience, through comprehensive training, strong leadership and supervision. FCP service is provided by a registered health professional that is the first point of contact for patients, delivering new expertise and increased capacity to general practice and providing patients with faster access to the right care.

Entry requirements

  • HCPC Registered Paramedic
  • A minimum of 4 years experience as a qualified Paramedic
  • Level 7 academic attainment or appropriate evidence of FCP Knowledge,and attributes mapped to Stage 1 of the road map.
diagram of roadmap

The Recruitment Window is currently closed. Please check back for further updates.

Please click on the links below for further information and Job Description.

Rotational Paramedics Further Information

Primary Care Network Paramedic Job Description

Please email for any any further information.

What will the primary care role entail?

During the primary care rotation, working with the Primary Care Network (PCN) will determine how your role will develop and evolve. There may be an expectation of home visiting, as well as acute on-the-day appointments. After training provided, your typical job role and associated responsibilities, are likely to include:

  • Managing undifferentiated undiagnosed conditions.
  • An ability to identify red flags and underlying serious pathology, and to take appropriate action.
  • Working within practice, across PCN, multi-organisational, cross professions and across care pathways and systems including health, social care, and the voluntary sectors.
  • High level complex decision making to inform the diagnosis, investigation, management, and on-referral within scope of practice.
  • Actively taking a personalised care approach to enable shared decision making with the presenting person.
  • Contributing to audit and research projects.
  • Contributing to education and supervision within your scope of practice for the multi-professional team.
  • Facilitating inter-professional learning in your area of expertise.
  • Promoting and developing your area of expertise across care pathways.

How will the Trust support rotational working?

SWASFT are committed and fully supportive of rotational working within Primary Care, providing benefits across the system.

There will be support within the PCN, where you will be assigned a Roadmap Supervisor. PCN issues (including clinical errors) remain, and are dealt with, within the PCN.

There will be continued support within SWASFT from your line manager.

SWASFT issues will be dealt with as per SWASFT policy and procedure.

Can I be considered with less experience or if yet to complete my BSc?

You need to have at least 4 years’ experience but you do not need to have completed the BSc, if instead you have taken the portfolio route.

Can someone in the Lead Paramedic & Learning and Development (PPED) role apply?

Yes, Lead Paramedic & Learning and Development/PPEDs can split their role so please do apply.

Am I eligible to apply because I am a bank paramedic and would only be able to work part time hours?

Yes part-time can apply, as long as we find a shift share with them/able to operationalise it.

Does moving to this scheme affect my rolling relief balance and therefore annual leave?

This change will affect your rolling relief balance and is the reason why relief planning is necessary. By planning your SWASFT duties on a relief basis we will be able to add or reduce your shifts as necessary to ensure you remain contractually compliant.

How will scheduling within the PCN look?

Scheduling of your PCN rotational working will be undertaken by Primary Care, typically this will be within Monday to Friday daytime hours but is dependant in the working hours of the PCN you will be rotating within.

Will I be able to stay on my rota line?

It is unlikely that you will be able to stay on your rota line; however, this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Should a move to relief be necessary, the Trust will look to ensure you benefit from the same advantages that permanent relief staff have, which includes the ability to utilise ROC days and protected weekends off.

Why would a move to relief be necessary?

Rota patterns vary across the Trust and balance out over a given reference period; where you start and leave the rota pattern will have a significant effect on the balance of your working hours which we would struggle to level.  In order to effectively balance your hours and ensure you remain contractually compliant we would need to plan your shifts on a relief basis, this includes the benefits listed above and at least six weeks advance notice of shifts.

Do I need more training in primary care to take on this role?

Training is an expectation on entering this role, from both SWASFT and the PCN that you will be working within. The role involves completion of the two-stage HEE Road Map to First Contact Practitioner (FCP). This involves the successful candidates undertaking both Stage 1 & 2 outlined within the document First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Paramedic), or if you feel you can demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attributes of the FCP role then you can provide portfolio evidence of this for review by a Roadmap Supervisor.  Once completed, you will move to Stage 2 of the road map, where your Primary Care Roadmap Supervisor will work with you and sign off in each of the areas.

Please follow this link in order to download a PDF of the NHS Health Education England First Contact Practitioners Roadmap – Roadmap

Will there be training within PCN with some sort of mentor/supervisor?

Yes that will be the case in order to complete Stage 2; a supportive framework will be put in place so you have supervisory time and you will be assessed too.

How will I book my annual leave?

All annual leave should be recorded through the ROC; the leave you take whilst in Primary Care should be agreed locally and then registered on GRS. Whilst on your Primary Care Rotation the Trust leave limits will not apply to you. It will be your responsibility to ensure your leave is split equally between the Trust and Primary Care. Annual leave will be split between PCN and SWASFT, 50% each. His goes through ROC. Terms and conditions will remain the same. The FCP role has been matched as a Band 6 role within SWASFT but you will maintain 25% USH even though you aren’t working USH in PCN.

How will I book sick?

All sickness should be recorded on GRS utilising the Trust’s sickness line to report. Should you need to take sick time whilst on your Primary Care Rotation you should follow their local processes and then inform the ROC via the Trust sickness line.

How will this scheme affect my pay/annual leave/sickness?

The terms and conditions in your Agenda for Change contract with SWASFT will remain the same. Most applicants this financial year are likely to be on Annex E currently, if you are on Section 2, the effects are being mapped currently and it is anticipated you will not be penalised financially.

What expectations will there be from SWASFT when working on this rotation?

Rotational working will bring many benefits, none more so than increasing your knowledge in primary care and the different ways of working, which will support your confidence and competence in clinical decision making, referral pathways and supporting system wide working. This will ensure the care you provide to patients and service users is timely, appropriate at point of contact, and efficient. The learning you gain, and the skills you grow, will support you to transform the way in which you approach patients in the emergency care setting whilst working on your SWASFT rotation. Therefore it will be expected you will begin to work differently, sharing your knowledge and actively engaging with students, newly qualified paramedics and colleagues to improve the ambulance service’s approach to patients with urgent care needs.

I work in E Devon but live in Somerset, how will you work out where I work within the PCN?

We will take your home address and the ensure the PCN you work with will be within an hour of where you live.

Is mileage for PCN claimable?

Each PCN has its own policy for mileage claims (SWASFT has no influence over this).

Any mileage that needs to be claimed relating to the PCN element of the job will need to be negotiated between employee (yourself) and the employer (the PCN you are working for).

What will the recruitment process involve?

You will complete an application through an expression of interest which will be submitted to the SWASFT Organisational Development Team (OD). The OD team will collate and shortlist applications on behalf of PCNs.  If your application is successful, you will then be invited to attend the recruitment process by the PCN.  If you succeed in the PCN interview then the Trust will consider the most appropriate release date for you to join the PCN which will be subject to the Trusts resourcing and operational needs.

Who facilitates the shortlisting process and how do you foresee the interviews working?

Georgina Lambert (SP) and Vicki Hayman (OD Officer) will shortlist against the FCP criteria.

Interviews in Jan 2022 and will be with PCN.

What happens in the event the primary care secondment does not work for either party?

You will be seconded to your Primary Care setting and will be expected to work within your contractual agreement. You will have supervision and performance reviews within the Primary Care setting; during these, if it is determined that the arrangement is not suiting either party, this will be reviewed by the employer as per the secondment policy between SWASFT and the Primary Care setting.

Do I need to have 5 years patient facing practice post registration?

SWASFT have matched the Roadmap criteria asking for a minimum of 4 years patient facing experience in order to apply for this scheme. The Trust can do this as you have to be 5 years qualified to be a First Contact Practitioner but working with HEE we’ve adapted that to say you can be 4 years at commencement of this scheme as long as you achieve FCP qualification at 5 years. So Primary Care have agreed that you will have completed all that you need to within 12 months (as a part time member of staff due to the rotation) of working with them, hence at 5 years you will be able to qualify as a FCP.

Why can’t Ambulance Nurses apply?

ARRS is aimed at additional roles within Primary Care and unfortunately Ambulance Nurses do not fall within the categories specified by NHS England (follow this link to find out more NHS England » Expanding our workforce).

Are you able to briefly outline how SPUECs might fit this?

SPUECs sit above FCP role, and due to this salary and thus funding is increased. If SPUECs wish to apply for this role then we will need to assess on an individual basis as to whether SWASFT and the PCN can accommodate.

How does the role differ to the Specialist Practitioner role?

FCP is just aimed at Primary Care, whereas a Specialist Practitioner branches off into minor illness, palliative care, wound care, emergencies, suturing and higher complex decision making.

I note within the FCP information it states that this position attracts band 6 pay even on FCP qualification. Health Education’s clearly sets out a band 6 salary during training and band 7 on completing the FCP program. Are you able to advise on why this position has been capped at band 6?

At SWASFT we are committed to ensuring that those Band 6 Paramedics are not financially penalised by rotational working within Primary Care. 

The First Contact Practitioner, on completion, is advertised as Band 7 by HEE, however; the gross pay at the top of Band 7 (without unsocial – worked in primary care), equates to (approximately) £45,838. By keeping the terms and conditions the same, the top of Band 6 with 25% equates to £48,784, demonstrating this is more favourable for our staff. At SWASFT we have also performed a table top exercise which demonstrates this combined role equates to a Band 6. 

During your time within SWASFT your role will stay the same, as a result there will be no financial change. 

Is this likely to be a one-time opportunity or will it be repeated?

The ARRS funding is for 2.5 years currently and is anticipated to continue after this too. This is Phase 1 and we anticipate once up and running more PCNs will contact SWASFT and so there will be another few phases of recruitment.

Would there be a dedicated rota for when the FCP is on the road, or would it be on relief? Is there any flexibility within being on relief when working for SWASFT?

For the part within SWASFT it is likely to be on a relief basis, but this will be looked into on a case by case basis if scheduling allows. The reason for this is that ROC still need to be able to balance your contracted hours and this is the only way to achieve that without looking deeply into your particular line and any other paramedics that are also applying for this role within your area.

Will it change our contract within SWASFT?

No, your contract will stay the same within SWASFT.

Regarding scope of practice, how do you anticipate the skills / knowledge gained through your primary care rotations will affect your practice when operational responding to 999 calls?

Will increase your knowledge, will speed up your ability to treat patients and the time taken to do this.

When talking about level 7 attainment, does that mean just a module or a whole Masters?

It refers only to one module that will run through your time within your SWASFT and PCN rotation. You only need to be able to work at a level 7, not having attained the level 7 criteria already.

If we already have a level 7 module, do we need to study a further module specific to the role?

There is the potential that you would not need to take the level 7 module if it looks at clinical skills, as we can work with you to see how the level 7 qualification you have can map across through a portfolio. This will need to be looked at on a case by case basis, but if you can provide us with as much information on this in your application it would be appreciated.

Is this available Trust wide?

Yes, but the amount of paramedics required per sector will depend on PCN interest.

In reference to the Level 7 module – is it any Level 7 module or a specific one?

It is similar to the module that the trainee SPs are completing currently, the APCA Module, looking at advanced practice, clinical reasoning, minor injuries and minor illness modules. If you believe you have a level 7 module that might map across look at the FCP knowledge, skill and attributes and look at the learning outcomes from the module you covered and check what would map across. Most level 7 modules will cover some of them. On a case by case basis your Roadmap Supervisor will be able to confirm what does map across and what you still need to do.

Who will be the module provider?

There are a number of Universities tendering for this module, currently UWE, Plymouth and Gloucester.

Will it be long distance learning or face-to-face?

Mixture depending on the University and particular module – online and also face to face parts usually.

Would non-medical prescribing be part of this scheme?

No, it is not. Non-medical prescribing sits under the Advanced Clinical Practitioner role within Primary Care.

What would the end qualification be? Is it only useable in SWASFT or can it be transferrable to elsewhere?

Level 7 module that you can put towards a Masters, PGDip but it gives you FCP status which is transferrable into Primary Care, which can lead onto Advanced Clinical Practitioner within Primary Care.

What happens if I choose to leave SWASFT and the rotation, will I need to re-pay any course costs that I may have been required to undertake such as the FCP module?

If you are required to undertake a course as part of this rotation that has been funded, such as the FCP module, you will not be required to re-pay the course fees if you attend the module. Full terms and conditions will be issued to you.

What happens if we start on the FCP pathway and decide it’s not for us? Can we leave and go back to SWASFT? Is there a financial penalty?

No there is no financial penalty. It would just be the issue of whether you can return to your rota line and this will need to be looked at on a case by case basis.

Is there any stipulation to remain working for SWASFT if individual decides to leave any move into PC full time?

The Contracts Team are looking in to this currently as obviously we wouldn’t want to lose high numbers of staff to PCN, but rather share them, thus currently there isn’t anything in the contract but a clause might be added.

Speaking of best of both worlds, if someone had ambitions of progressing their career within the ambulance service, do you anticipate that being an FCP would in any way impede them from doing so? Conflict of interest or time etc.

We see no reason as to why it would impede you, as it is extra skills.

Is there a plan for the development right through to becoming an AP?

No there isn’t a plan to do this currently within SWASFT but it is a way to do this. And the module within this role does fit into the AP route and so the credits can be used towards it

If lecture days for modules are when we are due to be working how will this work?

Each PCN will decide if they will give you a day off or not, but they know it is a requirement of your role. SWASFT will not be able to release you from duties to complete the module.

Do you expect any variance county by county or by CCG. Or do you think it will be fairly standardised across the board?

Yes we do expect there will be varying expectations within different PCNs but this won’t affect you reaching the FCP standards

Is there any change to our pay bands once qualified or do we remain band 6?

No as your terms and conditions stay the same whether working in SWASFT or PCN.

Will our unsocial go down while working in the PCN rotation? Even on Section 2?

There will be no difference in pay when you are working in PCN – your salary will remain the same even though you won’t be working unsocial hours. We have carried out hard negotiations to keep pay the same. With regards to Section 2, as your unsocial hours vary, we will need to look into this on a case by case basis and work it out carefully if you are accepted but it is anticipated that you will not see any negative impact on your pay.

How many spaces are there available?

This will depend on your location and the PCNs we receive interest from within an hours radius – the PCNs have cut off of 15th Dec 2021 for Phase 1 but there will be another Phase early in 2022.

If there isn’t a PCN within your local area we will place you in a holding pool for the next phase. This is Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be started in the new financial year and then we anticipate a Phase 3 in the Summer 2022.

When will the expression of interest launch?

The EOI for paramedics will launch on Wednesday 24th November (there will be a link) for 2 weeks and is accessible via the SWAFT CPD page under Organisational Development. We will then check that you qualify to meet the FCP programme and how they will meet those requirements within 6-12 months, score, sort and match paramedics to the PCNs interested and send them a shortlist. There will be two paramedics within each PCN (or more pairs if they wish for more than one FCP). We will let you know that your name has been sent to the PCN before Christmas. Furthermore, we anticipate that your interview process will be happening sometime after 10th January 2022. The PCN will run this process as you will be working with them.