UK Paramedics Could be Drafted in to Help General Practice
NHS England confirmed that it is currently running a consultation on whether some advanced-level paramedics should be given independent prescriber status, to give patients quicker access to treatment, but stressed there are no proposals for taking on routine GP appointments.
Paramedic independent prescribers “would have a comprehensive set of skills that could be utilised within a variety of multi-disciplinary teams”, both in community and acute settings, such as GP practices and walk-in centres, “to effectively manage the increase demand for urgent and emergency care services”.
The vision, it said, is to develop 999 ambulance services into “community-based mobile urgent treatment service” which requires highly skilled paramedics with the ability to “see and treat” more patients at the scene, and thus help stem the flow of patients into A&E departments and other care services.
Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners commented “With patients in some parts of the country now having to wait a month for a GP appointment, we welcome any suggestions that will help to ease the unprecedented pressures on GPs and help us to deliver the care our patients need,”.