Paramedics can work at a variety of levels ranging from trainee First Contact Practitioner (FCP), to qualified Advanced Clinical Practitioner level (ACP).
There are two ways paramedics work in primary care:
- Through a working relationship with a PCN and an ambulance trust; a rotational model where the trust remains the employer and supplies experienced paramedics to work with general practice to manage local population need. They can work in care homes, home visits or seeing and managing acute presentations in the practice.
- Direct recruitment by the PCNs.
There are three main areas paramedics can support in primary care:
- Urgent and unscheduled care
- Acute conditions
- Prevention of unplanned admissions
Benefits for the Practice
Due to their generalist background, paramedics have a broad range of responsibilities, such as assessment and triage of patients, performing first aid, specialist health checks, undertake investigatory procedure and advise people on general healthcare and self-management. They may be involved in other aspects of patient care including home visits, vaccinations and more.
Benefits for the Patient
- Quicker triage of patients
- Choice of telephone or face-to-face consultations
- Flexibility with consultations or home visits including in nursing and residential homes
- Freeing GP appointment time
Training & Development
Paramedics are allied health professional with a Degree (or equivalent) in Paramedic Science who are registered and regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the College of Paramedics (CoP) is their professional body.
Paramedic Practitioners or Specialist Paramedics have undergone additional professional development, e.g. for a Paramedic Practitioner, an additional 18 months development which will include Primary Care (and will have achieved competence in 15 OSCI assessments).
An advanced Paramedic will have undergone a Master’s Degree level of further professional development which includes the four pillars of Advanced Practice (Clinical Practice, Facilitating Learning, Leadership, and Evidence, Research and Development).
Paramedics can become First Contact Practitioners.