Student paramedics from the University of Huddersfield have been gaining practical experience working in care homes across Kirklees as part of an NHS Education funded project.

Over a dozen first year students spent two weeks at several Hill Care Group homes in and around Huddersfield.

The Paramedics in Social Care Environments (PISCEs) project gave the paramedic science students the opportunity to learn the essential skills of caring and communication to complement their clinical training.

Wearing their paramedic uniforms, the students worked alongside care home staff to support basic personal care, mealtime experiences, activities and other day-to-day care.

With consent from residents and their families, the students also had the opportunity to meet other care professionals and take part in discussions with GPs.

Kim Wadsworth-Briggs completed her placement at Aden Lodge Care Home in Clayton West. She said: “I had planned to study child nursing but I was drawn to the paramedics stand at the university open day and couldn’t resist. I am already inspiring my four-year-old daughter, who is in awe.

“She is loving hearing about what I’ve been doing with the residents, who are lovely. Getting to know their individual traits and requirements means I will have more of an idea what to expect if called to a care home in future.”

Matthew Up-Richard, who was at Aden Mount Care Home in Primrose Hill for the two-week placement, said: “The knowledge I have gained through spending time with the team and the residents has been invaluable.”

Rosie Robinson and Eleanor Spencer spent their placement at Longroyds and Pilling House Care Home in Skelmanthorpe.

Eleanor said: “I have wanted to be a paramedic from the age of 13, after seeing them treat my grandad, and I love how every day is different.”

Rosie added: “My mum inspired me to become a paramedic. She was a medic in the army and a truck driving instructor too so I have never wanted to do anything else. I feel like I will have a greater understanding of how to respond and support a resident when I attend a call at a care home in future.”

Lynda Hodgkinson, development and governance director for the Hill Care Group, said: “The students have all engaged brilliantly with their placements and we hope this is the start of an opportunity to work collaboratively with the University of Huddersfield further, supporting the development of future paramedics and other health care staff.

“Our care homes have also benefitted greatly from the placements, with really positive feedback given by the home managers.”

Tamsyn Weston, head of paramedic practice education at the University of Huddersfield, said: “The PISCEs project is something that I truly believe will help the paramedics of tomorrow.

“Since the majority of being a paramedic is talking and connecting to service users and their friends and families, the PISCEs project gives the learners the chance to practice these fundamental skills whilst also learning about social care and the impacts they have upon residents’ lives.”