Simon Downs

Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care (Paramedic Practice)
FdSc Paramedic Science, Specialist Paramedic (Urgent and Emergency Care), PGCert Education for Professional Practice, FHEA
+44 (0)1483 684544


Areas of specialism

Urgent and Emergency Care; Decision Making ; Paediatric Care

University roles and responsibilities

  • Field Lead (Paramedic Science)
  • Academic Integrity Officer and Fitness to Practise Panel Member
  • Athena SWAN Action Group Member
  • Schwartz Steering Group Member

    My qualifications

    PGCert Education for Professional Practice
    University of Surrey
    Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care (DipPUC)
    College of Paramedics
    FdSc Paramedic Science
    St George's Medical School
    Higher Education Academy
    Personal Tutor of the Year
    University of Surrey Students Union


    Research interests

    My teaching

    My publications


    S. Downs, A. Halls (2020)A ‘think aloud’ exercise to develop self-awareness of clinical reasoning in students, In: Journal of Paramedic Practice12(8)pp. 310-314 Mark Allen Healthcare

    Aims: This study aims to evaluate an established teaching tool for developing the Clinical Reasoning skills of student Paramedics, ascertaining the feasibility of this as an ongoing method for enhancing the teaching of clinical reasoning potentially alleviating the identified issues of transferring. Methods Utilising a qualitative approach to seek opinion and experience of the students undertaking the learning activity to ascertain level of enjoyment, student relatability and awareness of the skills it wished to develop. Data collected via an online survey tool was then analysed to draw theme and particular comment. Findings Student enjoyment and engagement was evident, the exercise permitted independence of thought and working; promoting students to self-appraise the effectiveness of the working strategy. Conclusion The results of this case study indicate the exercise could be effective in its premise of developing students’ clinical reasoning skills. It compliments established teaching strategies, such as core lectures, seminars and supervised practice.

    Barry Costello, Simon Downs (2021)Student paramedic decision-making: a critical exploration of a patient interaction, In: Journal of Paramedic Practice : the Clinical Monthly for Emergency Care Professionals13(2)pp. 76-80 Mark Allen Healthcare

    Clinical decision-making is a multifaceted construct, requiring the practitioner to gather, interpret and evaluate data to select and implement an evidence-based choice of action. Clinical reasoning is a difficult skill for students to develop due in part to the inability to guarantee awareness or opportunity to develop within time spent in practice. While professional developments within the past few years have established a supportive preceptorship programme within NHS trusts for new paramedic registrants, enhancing activities to develop these crucial skills within a pre-registrant programme should be prioritised to enhance the abilities of students and subsequent new registrants. A better understanding of the reasoning processes used during clinical decision-making may help health professionals with less experience to develop their processes in their own clinical reasoning. To embed such awareness and enhanced practice, the lead author, a third-year student paramedic at the time of writing, presents a reflective consideration of a patient encounter using the hypothetico-deductive model to evaluate and critically explore his own reasoning and processing within a meaningful patient interaction.