UK Medilingua participants recruited by the UK partners, Europe Evaluation Company – EEC, includes the Swansea University in Wales. Wales is one of the four countries that constitute the United Kingdom and is located to the far west of the UK mainland. Although not formally one of the European languages, Welsh is legally recognised as a national language in the UK. It is a Celtic language that is spoken by over 40% of the population of Wales ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_language ). Welsh as a first language is largely concentrated in the north and west of Wales, with a far lower concentration in the eastern and southern areas. Culturally, the use of Welsh for communication can be very strong in large pockets of the country and emergency service personnel (including paramedics) who need to interact with clients of varying ages, backgrounds and states of stress can often meet linguistic barriers if they originate from a different area of the country.
As well as having two official languages, Wales (particularly in the south and east) is a very multicultural society where a range of different languages can be heard in conversation.
The University’s College of Health and Human Sciences ( http://www.swansea.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/human-and-health-sciences/ ) offers a range of courses including a Diploma in Higher Education in Paramedic Science (DipHE Paramedic Science) and a Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Enhanced Paramedic Practice. Swansea University is the sole provider of accredited paramedic education in Wales ( http://hee.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/321/2013/09/PEEP-APPENDICES.pdf ).
The DipHE paramedic science higher education diploma is designed to prepare students for paramedic practice in a modernising health service. A distinctive feature of the programme is its integration of theory with practice; the course has a 50:50 theory practice ratio, with placements based throughout Wales. It is designed to enable students to develop intellectually and professionally - to produce paramedics who will be analytical, assertive, creative, safe, confident and decisive, who will embrace change and use research.
The BSc (Hons) Enhanced Paramedic Practice is an academic award developed to enable registered paramedics to gain academic credit for their learning. This degree facilitates academic recognition of experiential learning and increase the range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) options offered by the College of Human and Health Science, attending to the varying learning styles of practitioners.