Mr Andrew Webber
Lecturer in Paramedic Science (Education)
School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)
As a lecturer within Plymouth's paramedic science team, Andrew is primarily responsible for promoting high standards of learning for pre-registrant paramedic students. His role includes developing students' practical skills (eg. physical exam techniques, resuscitation), alongside fostering other important skills (eg. clinical decision making, critiquing and utilising evidence to improve practice). He is also responsible for developing registrant paramedics who choose to undertake post-registration study at Plymouth.
Before joining the university in 2013, Andrew worked with the local NHS ambulance service. He began as an ambulance care assistant in 1999, qualified as an ambulance technician in 2002 and then as a paramedic in 2005. Whilst working in the NHS, Andrew completed a BSc(Hons) in emergency care, before undertaking an MSc in health & social care research. In 2018 Andrew adopted a part-time role with the university, which has enabled him to practise with a GP network in Plymouth for two days each week. He practises as an independent prescriber in that role (for more on paramedic independent prescribing, visit the College of Paramedics' site). When able, Andrew continues to practise in the NHS ambulance service as a paramedic. He also practises within the private sector, working on festival sites, horse events and motorsports events.
As recognised in Hampton's (2003) 'Guidelines - for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men' piece, not all patients 'fit' into guidelines. Andrew has a keen interest in using evidence, pragmatism and patient choice to support individual patient's unique situations.
10/2020 - British Horseracing Authority annual update for healthcare staff
- British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS) - Full member
- British Geriatric Society - Paramedic member
- College of Paramedics - Full member [MCPara]
- Faculty of Prehospital Care (RCSEd) - Full member
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - Paramedic member
- Higher Education Academy - Fellow member [FHEA]
- Society for Education and Training (formerly the Institute for Learning) - Member [MSET]
Roles on external bodies
- External-examiner for the University of East Anglia's (UEA) BSc(Hons) & DipHE Paramedic programmes from 2013-2017.
- During 2015-16, worked with the College of Paramedics' Postgraduate Curriculum Development Group to develop curriculum guidance for UK paramedics.
- Reviewer for Health and Care Research Wales (formally the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research: NISCHR).
- External adviser for the major review of the Public Services portfolio at University of Wales Trinity Saint David during 2016.
- External adviser for the PgCert Simulation in Health and Social Care at the University of Salford in 2017.
- Andrew continues to consult for non-NHS UK ambulance services to improve their governance measures, with a particular interest in medicines governance.
Andrew's teaching interests include developing paramedic students' core knowledge (particularly of pathophysiology and pharmacotherapies), clinical examination skills (eg. assessment of core body systems using the traditional medical models) and cognitive skills (eg. clinical decision making, analysis of ECGs). He is keen to support traditional lecture teaching with alternative learning approaches, including:
- workbooks to promote active learning (eg. directing learners to academic papers of interest, encouraging learners to seek answers to clinical scenarios, etc)
- technology assisted interactive sessions (eg. using Turning Point audience response system)
- video-sessions (eg. theory sessions or practical skills demonstrations)
- outdoor learning (whether scenario-based, or just learning/discussing out of the class-room setting)
- problem-based learning, with learners working together to identify barriers/drivers to real-world clinical-challenges
- PARA503 - Medical Conditions and Pathophysiology (1)
- PARA601 - Clinical Skills and Application to Practice (3)
- PARA603 - Medical Conditions and Pathophysiology (2)
Andrew's own postgraduate research examined the use of naloxone for opioid overdose within one UK ambulance service. He remains interested in the areas of substance misuse and harm-reduction. His more recent areas of research interest include older people's care and palliative care. As well as his own research interests, Andrew acts as a research supervisor for Plymouth students.
He has supervised a number of undergraduate paramedic student-led studies, including:
- survey of students' preparedness to practise
- observational study comparing handling techniques to limit hip movement
- observational study examining inter-rater reliability of the FLACC pain score between student paramedics and student paediatric nurses
- cross-over trial comparing the efficacy of commercial and ad hoc tourniquets to arrest low limb circulation
- cross-over trial comparing the effect of patient gender on AED pad placement by untrained responders
- systematic review examining the efficacy of prehospital clopidogrel administration
- observational study examining test-retest reliability of tympanic thermometers
- focus group examining student paramedics preparedness for practice
- survey of students' responses to medication errors
He also supervises students planning and undertaking research in partial fulfilment of postgraduate awards at Plymouth. Research titles include:
- Helicopter versus ambulance transport of patients with a ST-elevation myocardial infarction: A retrospective comparison of call-to-balloon times
- How often do paramedics miss flail chests? An audit of one NHS ambulance service
For more on Plymouth's postgraduate programmes for paramedics, visit: