The Dark Side - Real Life Accounts of an NHS Paramedic - The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly - Andy Thompson

03 Jul 2014 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Dark Side - Real Life Accounts of an NHS Paramedic -

The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

‘The Dark Side’ – an unofficial term used by Mersey Regional Ambulance Service personnel to describe the career transition from the non-emergency aspect, to the frontline emergency aspect, of the Ambulance Service; pertaining to the fact that what one frequently encounters is often a grim and sombre experience.

What inspired me to write ‘The Dark Side’ and ‘The Dark Side Part 2’?

Over the last ten years or so, there have been numerous fly-on-the-wall documentaries on television following the day-to-day working lives of ambulance personnel, and a variety of blog-based books released too; so there is obviously some demand or none of them would have been produced. Though, unfortunately, the documentaries seldom depict a true picture of what the job is really like. The true-to-life material is usually found on the cutting room floor, classed as too inappropriate for television. The books, however, paint a more accurate picture about what it’s like to be a paramedic, but none of them tend to go in to detail about the patient encounter.

With all that in mind, I decided to pen a selection of my own personal memoirs, from the experiences that have remained with me through no choice of my own; they’ve become engraved, for one reason only – because they are all unforgettable.

I have used anonymised copies of the official NHS documentation I recorded at the time of each incident to include precise details. I sometimes retained anonymised copies of particularly interesting incidents because, as a Registered Health Care Professional, I have to maintain my fitness to practice, and so I possess a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) portfolio containing a wide variety of work-based evidence and reflective practice essays. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) undertake a random audit on its registrants every two years, and require submitted evidence to be within the last two years of clinical practice from the date of audit.

However, since qualifying as a paramedic in 2005, my name has not yet been pulled out of the hat, so to speak. Needless to say, the photocopies that I have – the same ones I had intended to write a reflective piece on for my CPD portfolio – are now obsolete, for audit purposes that is, but not for allowing me to include specific details while writing my paramedical memoirs.

About the Author

In June 2002, Andy commenced employment with the Mersey Regional Ambulance Service, which later merged with the Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire Ambulance Services to form the Northwest Ambulance Service NHS Trust. He rapidly progressed from the Patient Transport Service (PTS) to qualified Paramedic status via Ambulance Technician training, experience gained in the job and further extended training from which, upon qualifying, he was presented with a ‘Professional Paramedic Development Award’ for most improved candidate.

In 2005 he registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC), the national governing body for UK paramedics; this changed its name to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in August 2012.

Andy spent the earlier part of his career working in the English counties of Cheshire and Merseyside. In 2007, after living ‘up north’ for 32 years, Andy relocated down south with his wife and two children, residing there until he and his family relocated to North Yorkshire in September 2013. There, Andy continues his career as an NHS Paramedic with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Buy the books now from Simply click the books below:


To read more about the author, please visit:

Customers and Affiliates




CPDme, Business First, Liverpool Road, Burnley, Lancashire, England, BB12 6HH

CPDme Ⓒ 2009 - 2020. CPDme Ⓡ and CPDcloud Ⓡ are a trading division of HootCloud Ltd. EU Trademarked and Registered Company in England No. 10947245