• Paramedic prescribing: a potion for success or a bitter pill to swallow?

      Griffin, Dylan (2015-05)
      Abstract published with permission. In a climate of unprecedented demand on healthcare services, ageing demographics, population growth through immigration, a reduction in junior doctors’ working hours, and overriding political agendas, the need to develop innovative new roles and expand the scope of practice for existing practitioners, including paramedics, is paramount if the NHS is to maintain resilience in an evolving healthcare system. Recent legislative changes now permit chiropodists/ podiatrists and physiotherapists to independently prescribe, further fuelling other allied health professions (AHPs), such as paramedics’ and radiographers’ desire to become future independent prescribers. Implementation has the potential to enhance patient/clinician experiences through improved access to medicines, and would significantly reduce the need for multi-disciplinary involvement per care episode, yielding cost-efficiency savings through reduced ambulance journeys, fewer avoidable admissions, further augmenting patient care delivery. Paramedic independent prescribing (PIP) would also elicit improved inter-professional collaboration, enhance employability and promote professional autonomy in evolving advanced practice roles. Such innovation requires legislative changes, but remains paramount if paramedics are to actively contribute towards tackling the increasing burden of unprecedented demand, limited resources, and ongoing commitment to achieve cost-efficiency savings within the modern NHS.
    • Paramedics and medicines: legal considerations

      England, Ed (2016-08)
      Abstract published with permission. This article will cover: l The relevant legislation relating to medicines and ambulance services l The restrictions that apply to different organisations or individuals regarding the possession of medicines l Regulations on the administration and supply of medicines l Patient Group Directions and Patient Specific Directions. The law in relation to the possession of medicines, administration to patients and the supply of medicines is separate. This article also provides guidance to ambulance services and ambulance clinicians on available options to ensure good patient access to medicines in England. The laws described also apply in Scotland and Wales but there are some different national processes. The law both enables and restricts access to medicines. However, it does require interpretation and a pharmacist can help with this. Where interpretation is contentious then organisations may obtain a legal opinion. Legal opinions can also differ, and can only be resolved in court.
    • Patient and clinician factors associated with prehospital pain treatment and outcomes: cross sectional study

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Asghar, Zahid; Lord, Bill; Pocock, Helen; Phung, Viet-Hai; Foster, Theresa; Williams, Julia; Snooks, Helen (2019-02)
    • Patients' and ambulance service clinicians' experiences of prehospital care for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a qualitative study

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; Davy, Zowie; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-11)
      BACKGROUND: Patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke commonly present first to the ambulance service. Little is known about experiences of prehospital care which are important for measuring the quality of services for patients with AMI or stroke. AIM: We explored experiences of patients, who had accessed the ambulance service for AMI or stroke, and clinicians regularly treating patients for these conditions in the prehospital setting. METHOD: A qualitative research design was employed to obtain rich and detailed data to explore and compare participants' experiences of emergency prehospital care for AMI and stroke. RESULTS: We conducted 33 semistructured interviews with service users and clinicians and one focus group with five clinicians. Four main themes emerged: communication, professionalism, treatment of condition and the transition from home to hospital. Patients focused on both personal and technical skills. Technical knowledge and relational skills together contributed to a perception of professionalism in ambulancepersonnel. Patients' experience was enhanced when physical, emotional and social needs were attended to and they emphasised effective communication within the clinician-patient relationship to be the key. However, we found a discrepancy between paramedics' perceptions of patients' expectations and patients' lack of knowledge of the paramedic role. CONCLUSIONS: Factors that contribute to better patient experience are not necessarily understood in the same way by patients and clinicians. Our findings can contribute to the development of patient experience measures for prehospital care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/11/942.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2012-201507
    • Patients' and emergency clinicians' perceptions of improving pre-hospital pain management: a qualitative study

      Iqbal, Mohammad; Spaight, Peggy Anne; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2013-03)
      Background The authors aimed to investigate patients’ and practitioners’ views and experiences of pre-hospital pain management to inform improvements in care and a patient-centred approach to treatment. Methods This was a qualitative study involving a single emergency medical system. Data were gathered through focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Participants were purposively sampled from patients transported by ambulance to hospital with a painful condition during the past 6 months, ambulance service and emergency department (ED) clinicians. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted. Results 55 participants were interviewed: 17 patients, 25 ambulance clinicians and 13 ED clinicians. Key themes included: (1) consider beliefs of patients and staff in pain management; (2) widen pain assessment strategies; (3) optimise non-drug treatment; (4) increase drug treatment options; and (5) enhance communication and coordination along the pre-hospital pain management pathway. Patients and staff expected pain to be relieved in the ambulance; however, refusal of or inadequate analgesia were common. Pain was commonly assessed using a verbal score, but practitioners’ views of severity were sometimes discordant with this. Morphine and Entonox were commonly used to treat pain. Reassurance, positioning and immobilisation were used as alternatives to drugs. Pre-hospital pain management could be improved by addressing practitioner and patient barriers, increasing available drugs and developing multi-organisational pain management protocols supported by training for staff. Conclusions Pain is often poorly managed and undertreated in the pre-hospital environment. The authors’ findings may be used to inform guidance, education and policy to improve the pre-hospital pain management pathway. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/30/3/e18.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2012-201111
    • Perceived areas for future intervention and research addressing conveyance decisions and potential threats to patient safety: stakeholder workshops

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2016-09)
      Background As part of a study examining systemic influences on conveyance decisions by paramedics and potential threats to patient safety, stakeholder workshops were conducted with three Ambulance Service Trusts in England. The study identified seven overarching systemic influences: demand; priorities; access to care; risk tolerance; training, communication and resources. The aim of the workshops was to elicit feedback on the findings and identify perceived areas for future intervention and research. Attendees were also asked to rank the seven threats to patient safety in terms of their perceived importance for future attention. Methods A total of 45 individuals attended across all the workshops, 28 ambulance service staff and 17 service user representatives. Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. A paper based paired comparison approach was used to produce an ordinal ranking to illustrate the relative prioritisation of issues. Analysis included testing for internal consistency and between-rater agreement for this relatively small sample. Findings The two highest ranking priorities were training and development, as well as access to care. The areas for intervention identified represent what attendees perceived as feasible to undertake and relate to: care options; cross boundary working; managing demand; staff development; information and feedback; and commissioning decisions. Perceived areas for research specifically address conveyance decisions and potential threats to patient safety. 17 areas for research were proposed that directly relate to six of the systemic threats to patient safety. Conclusions Feedback workshops were effective in the validation of findings as well as providing an opportunity to identify priorities for future interventions and research. They also facilitated discussion between a variety of Ambulance Service staff and service user representatives. Ongoing collaboration between members of the research team has enabled some of the research recommendations to be explored as part of a mutually agreed research agenda. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e7.3.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2016-206139.25
    • A pilot study to assess the feasibility of paramedics delivering antibiotic treatment to ‘red flag’ sepsis patients

      Chippendale, Jonathan; Lloyd, Adele; Payne, Tanya; Dunmore, Sally; Stoddart, Bethan (2017-10)
      Background Sepsis is associated with a 36% mortality rate rising up to 50% for septic shock. Currently when an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) clinician recognises ‘red flag’ sepsis, only the oxygen and fluid elements of the ‘Sepsis 6’ care bundle are delivered, omitting the antibiotic therapy. Each hour antibiotics are delayed there is an increased risk of septic shock which is associated with a 7.6% greater risk of death. Ambulance clinicians are therefore appropriately placed to assess and commence treatment at the earliest point of recognition. The aim of this pilot was to assess the feasibility of paramedic training in recognising ‘red flag’ sepsis, obtaining blood cultures and administering a broad spectrum antibiotic to patients in the pre-hospital environment. Methods A prospective six month feasibility pilot evaluation was introduced in May 2016. Paramedics were trained and given access to a broad spectrum antibiotic along with a patient group directive (PGD) to administer the antibiotic to ‘red flag’ sepsis patients. Training included sepsis recognition, taking of blood cultures and PGD compliance. Results 20 paramedics volunteered and successfully completed the training. Of the patients that were identified as ‘red flag’ sepsis (n=113) 93% (n=107) were confirmed as infected by hospital record. 98 blood samples were harvested of which only 7.14% (n=7) were reported contaminated compared to an overall 8.48% of those taken in ED during the same time period. 80% (n=90) of patients assessed by paramedics met the criteria and were treated with meropenem. PGD compliance was 100%. Conclusion EMAS paramedics were accurate and reliable in their recognition of identifying ‘red flag’ sepsis and able to administer meropenem safely in accordance with the PGD. EMAS paramedic blood sample contamination rate was lower than those taken in the ED. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/695.2 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207114.2
    • Pre-hospital treatment of traumatic rhabdomyolysis

      Desjardins, Mathew; Strange, Barnaby (2013-12)
    • Prehospital adrenaline administration for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: the picture in England and Wales

      Booth, Scott; Ji, Chen; Soar, Jasmeet; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Fothergill, Rachael; Spaight, Robert; Perkins, Gavin D. (2018-09)
    • Prehospital intravenous cannulation: reducing the risks and rate from inappropriate venous access by paramedics

      Iqbal, Mohammad; Banerjee, Smita C.; Spaight, Anne; Stephenson, John; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2009-10)
      Background Prehospital intravenous (IV) cannulation by paramedics is a key intervention which enables administration of fluids and drugs in the prehospital setting. Inappropriate use and poor technique of IV cannulation carry potential risks for patients such as pain and infection. Cannulation rates vary widely between paramedics and ambulance stations and rates have increased over the past decade. A baseline audit carried out in Lincolnshire division of East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) in 2006 found that paramedics cannulated 14.2% of transported patients and cannulation rates varied considerably between ambulance stations, with a mean rate of 13.4% (range 5.8% to 19%). An estimated 15.6% of these cannulations could have been avoided. Objective This evaluation was aimed at investigating the effect of a complex educational intervention to reduce the rate of cannulation and improve cannulation technique in EMAS NHS Trust which provides emergency and unscheduled care in six counties of the UK. Method A non-randomised control group (before and after) design was used to evaluate the effect of the educational intervention. Two geographical areas of EMAS were involved in the study; an intervention area (Nottinghamshire) was compared with a control area (Lincolnshire). The educational intervention was based on current guidance (JRCALC) and delivered to paramedic team leaders who cascaded it to their teams. Comparisons between the areas were made by analysing cannulation rates 2 months before and after intervention. Paramedics, 50 in each group, were assessed on technique, appropriateness and attitude towards cannulation. Results Preliminary results showed that there was a reduction in cannulation rates in the intervention area from 9.1% to 6.5% compared with an increase in the control area from 13.8 to 19.1%. Paramedics in the intervention group were significantly more likely to use correct consent and hand washing techniques following the intervention. https://emj.bmj.com/content/26/10/1.2. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2009.075432a
    • Prehospital outcomes for ambulance service care: systematic review

      Phung, Viet-Hai; Booth, Andrew; Coster, Joanne; Turner, Janette; Wilson, Richard; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2015-05)
      Background Ambulance service performance measurement has previously focused on response times and survival. We conducted a systematic review of the international literature on quality measures and outcomes relating to pre-hospital ambulance service care, aiming to identify a broad range of outcome measures to provide a more meaningful assessment of ambulance service care. Methods We searched a number of electronic databases including CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, and Web of Science. For inclusion, studies had to report either research or evaluation conducted in a pre-hospital setting, published in the English language from 1982 to 2011, and reporting either outcome measures or specific outcome instruments. Results Overall, 181 full-text articles were included: 83 (46%) studies from North America, 50 (28%) from Europe and 21 (12%) from the UK. A total of 176 articles were obtained after examining 257 full-text articles in detail from 5,088 abstracts screened. A further five papers were subsequently identified from references of the articles examined and studies known to the authors. There were 140 articles (77%) which contained at least one survival-related measure, 47 (34%) which included information about length of stay and 87 (48%) which identified at least one place of discharge as an outcome. Limitations We encountered the problem of incomplete information, for instance studies not specifying which pain scales when these had been used or using survival without a specific time period. Conclusion and recommendations In addition to measures relating to survival, length of stay and place of discharge, we identified 247 additional outcome measures. Few studies included patient reported or cost outcomes. By identifying a wide range of outcome measures this review will inform further research looking at the feasibility of using a wider range of outcome measures and developing new outcome measures in prehospital research and quality improvement. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e10.2.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2015-204880.27
    • Prehospital Transdermal Glyceryl Trinitrate for Ultra-Acute Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Data From the RIGHT-2 Trial

      Dixon, Mark; Bath, Philip M.; Woodhouse, Lisa J.; Krishnan, Kailash; Appleton, Jason P.; Andersona, Craig S.; Berge, Eivind; Cala, Lesley; England, Timothy J.; Godolphin, Peter J.; et al.
    • Preventable mortality in patients at low risk of death requiring prehospital ambulance care: retrospective case record review study

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Akanuwe, Joseph; Crum, Annabel; Coster, Joanne; Jacques, Richard; Turner, Janette (2018-04)
      Aim Retrospective case record reviews (RCRR) have been widely used to assess quality of care but evidence for their use in prehospital ambulance settings is limited. We aimed to review case records of potentially avoidable deaths related to ambulance care. Method We identified patients who were transported to hospital or died using linked ambulance-hospital-mortality data from one UK ambulance service over 6 months in 2013. Death rates (within 3 days) for patient groups (based on age, dispatch code and urgency) were determined; 3 patients calling in-hours and 3 outof-hours were selected from categories with the lowest death rates. Five reviewers (GP, nurse, 2 paramedics and medical health service manager) assessed anonymised patient records for quality of care and avoidable mortality. Results We selected 29 linked records from 1 50 003 focussing on patients not transported to distinguish pre-hospital from Abstracts BMJ Open 2018;8(Suppl 1):A1–A34 A7 Trust (NHS). Protected by copyright. on 13 August 2019 at Manchester University NHS Foundation http://bmjopen.bmj.com/ BMJ Open: first published as 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.20 on 16 April 2018. Downloaded from hospital causes. Overall 8 cases out of 29 (27.6%) scored between 2.4 and 2.8 (1=Definitely avoidable, 2=Strong evidence of avoidability), 8 cases (27.6%) scored between 3.0 and 4.6 (3=Probably avoidable, 4=Possibly avoidable), and the remaining 13 cases (44.8%) between 4.0 and 5.8 (5=Slightly avoidable or 6=Definitely not avoidable). Variation between raters was satisfactory with ICC 0.84 (95% CI: 0.73 to 0.92). Common themes among cases with strong evidence of avoidability were symptoms or physical findings indicating a potentially serious condition and refusal by patients or their carers to be transported to hospital. RCRRs require linked ambulance, hospital and mortality data to ensure accurate assessment in light of the diagnosis and cause of death. Conclusion Retrospective case record reviews (RCRR) have been widely used to assess quality of care but evidence for their use in prehospital ambulance settings is limited. We aimed to review case records of potentially avoidable deaths related to ambulance care. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A7.3 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.20
    • A qualitative study of decision-making and safety in ambulance service transitions

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2014-12)
    • A qualitative study of systemic influences on paramedic decision making : care transitions and patient safety

      Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Shewan, Jane; O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Weyman, Andrew; Turner, Janette; et al. (2015-01)
    • Rapid Intervention with Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) in Hypertensive stroke Trial (RIGHT): safety of GTN and potential of ambulance trials in ultra-acute stroke

      Ankolekar, Sandeep; Fuller, Michael; Sprigg, Nicola; Sare, Gillian; Geeganage, Chamila; Stokes, Lynn; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Bath, Philip M.; Right Invesitgators (2012-12-06)
    • Reassurance as a key outcome valued by emergency ambulance service users : a qualitative interview study

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; O'Cathain, Alicia; Phung, Viet-Hai; Turner, Janette; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2015-12)
    • Reliability and validity of an ambulance patient reported experience measure (a-prem): pilot study

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Togher, Fiona Jayne; Akanuwe, Joseph; Spaight, Anne (2017-10)
      Background There are no prehospital ambulance Patient Reported Experience Measures (A-PREMs) routinely used to support service comparisons and improvement. We developed an A-PREM, generating items through secondary analysis of ambulance patient interview data, and refining the instrument using expert assessment and cognitive interviews of service users. We aimed to pilot the A-PREM (48 experience and 12 attribute items) investigating user acceptability, reliability and construct validity. Methods Ambulance users attended by a UK regional ambulance service within the previous six months, excluding those suffering cardiac arrest, were sent a self-administered A-PREM. Returned questionnaires were entered into Microsoft Excel and imported into SPSS v22 for analysis. Experience items were recoded to range from 0 (don’t know/can’t remember) to 3 (best recorded experience). Descriptive analysis for item frequencies and missing values, reliability analyses for potential scales and tests of correlation and association were conducted. Results In all, 111 A-PREMs (22.2%) were returned. Missing data were highest for call-taking items. There was a significant association with a shorter wait for first response for four items measuring overall experience of call-taking (χ, p=0.05), ambulance staff (p<0.001), ambulance overall (p=0.001) and A and E (p=0.023). Four separate experience scales encompassing call taking (AmbCallScore, α=0.91), care at scene (AmbCareScore, α=0.90), care on leaving the patient (AmbLeaveScore, α=0.69), and care on transport (AmbTranScore α=0.71), showed satisfactory to high internal consistencies and distributions indicating generally positive experiences. AmbCallScore, AmbCareScore and AmbLeaveScore showed significantly higher scores (ANOVA) with shorter wait to first response. There were no significant differences for overall measures or scales by sex or age of participant, whether they were transported to hospital or not and whether it was their first experience of the ambulance service. Conclusion Our findings show that the A-PREM should be tested more widely for evidence of reliability, validity and sensitivity to different care and settings. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e6.2 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207114.17
    • Risk Prediction Models for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Outcomes in England

      Ji, Chen; Brown, Terry P.; Booth, Scott J.; Hawkes, Claire A.; Nolan, Jerry P.; Mapstone, James; Fothergill, Rachael; Spaight, Robert; Black, Sarah; Perkins, Gavin D. (2020-03-10)
    • Scabies: a problem that can really get under your skin

      Pocock, Helen (2012-01)
      Abstract published with permission. This article explores the assessment, diagnosis and current recommended treatment for scabies in the UK. There are many myths surrounding scabies which could lead to misdiagnosis. Using a case from clinical practice, some of the common features of a history suggestive of infestation are explored and the social and psychological effects of such a diagnosis are considered. As a result of reading this article, prehospital practitioners should be more aware of scabies and more able to identify it in the community setting.