The site is here for you to tell the rest of the UK what you are doing in your local area. What skills you are allowed to practice, which drugs you can prescribe and administer. What pathways you have set up and any innovations you wish to share with the rest of the ECP/Paramedic Practitioner community.

The Primary role of the Paramedic Practitioner may vary but it has a basic remit of the delivery of unscheduled care to patients in the community by the right health care professional.

The scope of the ECP usually covers (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Administering medications within the remit of local PGD.

  • Prescribing medications to patients in line with local PGD.

  • Working within agreed scope of practice

  • Ordering x-rays and requesting further investigations

  • Take a holistic approach to patient care, bringing together their medical, social and psychological needs

  • Encouraging the promotion of health education in the community

  • Treating minor illness and minor injury within an unscheduled care environment

  • Referring patients to alternative health and social services

  • Break down existing professional boundaries and encourage collaboration.

  • Empowering patients to take responsibility for managing their own care and treatment where it is safe and appropriate to do so

  • Encouragement of direct referrals greater direct communications with specialities

  • Undertaking an in-depth patient examination and assessment beyond existing JRCALC guidelines

  • Identifying and providing alternative care pathways for the provision of emergency care

  • Undertake audit and research be personally responsible for self directed learning

Unlike some EMS systems in the world which work to protocols, UK Paramedics work to 'guidelines' which have been written by the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) to allow Paramedics to treat patients to the full scope of the guidelines without physician approval on an incident by incident basis. Beyond the normal scope of UK Paramedic practice the practitioners are trained by Universities to apply a treat & release and treat & refer patient care.

The education takes on various forms. The College of Paramedics believe the level of education for ECPs should be set at PgDip or MSc, in reality it is currently BSc with a few exceptions.

There are degree programmes which range from 2 to 4 years B.Sc to M.Sc level. Much of the evolving area of prehospital care is being based on Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). All the practitioners are writing essays and dissertations based upon existing or perceived future working practice. Much of what is being written is not being read and as such we are not learning from shared experiences as a professional body. What is coming out of ECP work are potential trends toward paramedic practice in the future. It is unclear at this time if the higher ECP scope of practice will continue or a more restricted paramedic practitioner role will become the standard of an advanced role here in the UK. The thing that will determine if ECPs remain in its current form will be their ability to prove that they are not only clinically effective but cost effective. They will only be able to achieve this by the ambulance services and Dept of Health adopting a pre-hospital "payment by results' culture at the point of patient contact.

Some services have begun the process of Emergency Department avoidance cars using ECPs. It has been a very long time coming possibly because of a lack of understanding of the ECP role and its potential effectiveness and benefits to stakeholders. Also the dynamics of the NHS in England has recently changed with the realisation that out ED and hospitals can no longer cope with the increased volume of patient visits and as such are actively seeking out new strategies such as ECPs.

Career Options
e-mail me