How to become a Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service

Although the coronavirus pandemic has limited travel from Australia to the UK for the moment, a career as a Paramedic within the London Ambulance Service (LAS) is still possible in the future, and definitely worth aiming for. Find out more about the service and what the role involves.

About the London Ambulance Service

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is one of the world’s busiest ambulance services.

It’s a huge organisation with over 5,000 staff; 3,500+ are frontline paramedic crews based out of 70 ambulance stations across metropolitan London. Approximately 500 staff manage their two 999 despatch/control rooms and hundreds of support staff provide additional services from locations across the city.

Emergency healthcare services are provided free to more than 8.5 million people living in the London area. The main role of LAS is to respond to emergency 999 calls, delivering urgent medical help to patients who have serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses.

A truly multicultural city, London’s population comprises of many nationalities and backgrounds who live and work in the metropolitan area, which is around 620 square miles in size (about 990 sq. kilometres).

Typical job duties of a London Ambulance Service Paramedic

With around 5,000 emergency calls per day and almost 25% of them being immediately life-threatening (Category A), there’s no such thing as a routine job or a ‘normal’ day with the London Ambulance Service.

Therefore, paramedics should be prepared to carry out a broad range of duties, including:

  • Attending accidents, emergencies and requests for medical assistance.
  • Assessing health of patients, determining need for assistance, and assessing specialised needs and factors affecting patients’ conditions.
  • Performing therapies and administering drugs according to protocol.
  • Resuscitating and defibrillating patients and operating life-support equipment.
  • Transporting accident victims to medical facilities.
  • Transporting sick and disabled persons to and from medical facilities for specialised treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Instructing community groups and essential service workers in first aid.
  • Attending public gatherings and sporting events where accidents and other health emergencies may occur.
  • Ensuring that ambulances are adequately maintained and stocked with medical supplies, and that equipment is clean, sterilized and in good working order.
  • Preparing written reports on the state of patients’ injuries and treatment provided.

Equipment

As a Paramedic working in London, you are required to carry your own personal kit, or response bag. This means you take your kit home with you after every shift.

The kit is stocked with all the essential equipment you need to handle airway management, dressings for wound management, sharps disposal containers, etc.

Employment outlook

Pre-pandemic, the LAS was specifically looking to hire newly-qualified paramedics from Australia. We’ll continue to update this page as the global situation evolves and more information on opportunities become available.

London Ambulance Service Paramedic salary

A London Ambulance Service Paramedic can earn between £27,936 and £36,134 per year, which is between $52,679 and $68,138 (with the exchange rate at £1 GBP = $1.89 AUD as of July 2021).

What it’s really like to be a Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service

Take a look at a brief history of the London Ambulance Service…

London… one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse cities, 620 square miles, 8.7 million people and one ambulance service. 1879 saw the first ambulance service to answer any calls to help. Starting out using horses and carriages, to white vans, to now, shining green and yellow trucks drive through London assisting those in need.

LAS Paramedic Gurpreet talks about his most memorable moment on the job.

I went to a 4 year old in cardiac arrest on a bus in public… we got that 4 year old back, with a pulse and breathing by himself into hospital. Afterwards we received a letter from the hospital… which stated he walked out on his own two feet. That is my most memorable moment.

How to become a London Ambulance Service Paramedic

Pre-covid, the LAS was looking for Australian paramedics who held relevant diploma or degree qualifications in paramedicine. While their requirements may change, you can get on your way gaining the HLT50120 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care now with APC.

The diploma is a fantastic pathway into degree course too. It fully prepares you to transition into university and depending on which university you choose, you could be awarded degree credits.

LAS Application process and requirements (2020)

The application and process information below was correct pre-pandemic. However, we advise you to check directly with the LAS for the most up-to-date information.

Provide CV, qualification(s) and work experience
Give your reasons as to why you want to work with LAS
You will be asked questions on problem solving and resolution outcomes

If successful in the first stage, you will be shortlisted and complete the following:

  • A Skype interview – how you see yourself meeting the NHS Trust values of Respectful, Professional, Innovative and Collaborative.
  • Clinical assessment – two-way discussion, physiology, pharmacology, ethics etc
  • Safety assessment, physical capacity fitness – beep test, exercise physiology, bike test, endurance, core strength etc which will be conducted in Australia.
  • Applicants can also get a lot of information from the website – we encourage you to do your own research
  • A successful Police check
  • A good driving record, full manual driving license valid in the UK, with no more than 3 penalty points and yes – they drive on the same side of the road as we do.
  • Health Care and Professional Council (HCPC) registration. The HCPC is similar to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Ready to learn more?

Take a closer look at our courses and have a chat with one of our friendly Course Advisors to find out how APC can help you in your pathway to becoming a paramedic.