EMAS researcher takes a significant step for the paramedic profession

EMAS researcher takes a significant step for the paramedic profession

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A researcher at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has become the first paramedic in England to be awarded a Health Education England (HEE)/National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded postdoctoral fellowship; a significant step forward for the paramedic profession.

Dr Gregory Whitley is a postdoctoral UK registered Paramedic with 12 years of experience in the ambulance service. He is currently a Paramedic Research Fellow at EMAS and a Lecturer in Paramedic Science at the University of Lincoln. He completed his PhD at the University of Lincoln in 2020 on the topic of pre-hospital pain management in children, funded by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) - East Midlands. He has recently completed a postdoctoral bridging award, delivered through the University of Nottingham and funded by HEE and the NIHR ARC East Midlands. This bridging award provided Greg the resources to develop his successful Advanced Clinical and Practitioner Academic Fellowship (ACAF) application.

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The ACAF award will fund a programme of research titled "Improving Pain mAnagement for childreN and young people attendeD by Ambulance (PANDA): A realist informed intervention development and feasibility study". The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of children and young people who have been attended by ambulance for a painful condition, along with their parents/carers and ambulance clinicians, and to develop and test a new method to improve pain management.

In addition to the PANDA project, the ACAF award will fund a bespoke programme of academic and professional training along with a research trip to Canada to learn from experts on the topic of pain management in children and young people.

This award marks a significant step forward for the paramedic profession, demonstrating the commitment of paramedics to design and deliver high quality research to improve the quality of care for the patients they serve.

The project will be hosted by EMAS in partnership with the University of Lincoln. The study will be supported by colleagues from the Community and Health Research Unit and the Lincoln Clinical Trials Unit, both based at the University of Lincoln. Colleagues from the University of Nottingham, University of Hertfordshire and Monash University will support the fellowship, along with colleagues from the NIHR ARC – East Midlands. The PANDA study will begin in September 2023 and is planned to complete in May 2027.   

Dr Whitley said: "To receive this prestigious postdoctoral fellowship is a privilege and an honour. However, this achievement would not have been possible without the support of so many organisations and individuals. I would like to thank EMAS and the Clinical Audit and Research Unit (CARU) for their support and assistance with this fellowship." 

For further details on the PANDA study, follow Dr Whitley  on Twitter @gregwhitley7