• Consensus statement: a framework for safe and effective intubation by paramedics

      Gowens, Paul; Aitken-Fell, Paul; Broughton, William; Harris, Liz; Williams, Julia; Younger, Paul; Bywater, David; Crookston, Colin; Curatolo, Lisa; Edwards, Tim; et al. (2018-06)
      Abstract published with permission. This consensus statement provides profession-specific guidance in relation to tracheal intubation by paramedics ‐ a procedure that the College of Paramedics supports. Tracheal intubation by paramedics has been the subject of professional and legal debate as well as crown investigation. It is therefore timely that the College of Paramedics, through this consensus group, reviews the available evidence and expert opinion in order to prevent patient harm and promote patient safety, clinical effectiveness and professional standards. It is not the purpose of this consensus statement to remove the skill of tracheal intubation from paramedics. Neither is it intended to debate the efficacy of intubation or the effect on mortality or morbidity, as other formal research studies will answer those questions. The consensus of this group is that paramedics can perform tracheal intubation safely and effectively. However, a safe, well-governed system of continual training, education and competency must be in place to serve both patients and the paramedics delivering their care.
    • The current leadership development opportunities provided for student paramedics by Higher Education Institutions: a literature review

      Rae, Alison; Robinson, Simon (2020-09-01)
      Introduction: The development of safe, competent and capable paramedics is one of the key concerns of education providers or Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). To achieve this, paramedic programmes need to focus on teaching leadership to students. The aim of this literature review was to identify the current leadership development opportunities for paramedic students during their undergraduate training across the United Kingdom, in order to identify current gaps and make suggestions on how HEIs could increase leadership opportunities for student paramedics. Methods: During August 2018, the Scopus, Medline, CINAHL and Academic Search Premier databases were searched (the last three accessed via EBSCOhost). Grey literature was also manually reviewed. Both authors screened the title and abstract and agreed on final papers eligible for full-text review. CASP and COREQ checklists were used to assist in critically appraising the quality of the research and to help decide on the papers chosen for inclusion. Results: The search yielded 511 results (455 after duplicates were removed). The grey literature search also yielded one additional document that incorporated a framework based on primary research integrated within the paper itself. After title and abstract review, seven papers were included for full text critical review. Two papers were then excluded, resulting in a total of five papers being included in the review. Conclusion: Current evidence, although limited, demonstrates the benefit of educational programmes in developing educational and non-educational leadership opportunities for paramedic students. Moreover, there is value to individuals being provided or seeking extra-curricular activities, and students should be encouraged to engage in societies, the College of Paramedics, events and conferences, and to work or volunteer in healthcare or emergency service-related sectors to further enhance their leadership potential and skills. Abstract published with permission.
    • Mentorship within the paramedic profession: a practice educator's perspective

      Lane, Matthew; Rouse, James; Docking, Rachael E. (2016-05)
      Abstract published with permission. Background ‐ The rapid ascension of paramedic science within higher education is creating a significant culture change within the profession. Clinicians are now accountable for both their patients as well as the learning of their students. Mentoring practices in the paramedic profession have been adopted from the findings of professions allied to healthcare, including medicine, nursing and midwifery, where mentorship is well established. The insufficiencies of this model need to be tested to account for the idiosyncrasies of the paramedic role. Methods ‐ A convenience sample of paramedic educators were identified across two ambulance services. Focus groups were conducted to obtain rich data about participants’ opinions on current mentoring practices within the paramedic profession and recommendations for how this can be improved. Results ‐ Results demonstrated the importance of learning through observation, teaching skills and personal qualities in relation to the paramedic educator role, as previously identified in the literature produced by professions allied to healthcare. Paramedic educators also identified current challenges to practice that included organisational issues such as ‘support’, ‘recognition’ and the ‘mental well-being’ of students. Conclusions ‐ This is the first primary research to explore mentoring from the paramedic educator perspective. In order to undertake their role more effectively paramedic educators are looking for a greater investment into the culture of mentoring by ambulance services and universities to address the identified organisational issues.
    • The timeline of information exchange: a service evaluation of London Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s front line communication and emergency response to Exercise Unified Response

      Nunan, Jordan; Palfreyman-Jones, Samantha; Milne, Rebecca; Wakefield, Alison (2020-03-01)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction: Exercise Unified Response, Europe’s largest major incident training exercise to date, provided a rich environment for the emergency services to test their multi-agency crisis response capabilities. Supported by the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, this service evaluation examined London Ambulance Service NHS Trust front line communication and decision-making via body-worn camera footage. Methods: Twenty London Ambulance Service NHS Trust front line responders and evaluators were each equipped with a body-worn camera during Exercise Unified Response. The service evaluation aimed to: (a) produce timelines of the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s response in order to identify key events and actions during the ‘golden hour’ (the crucial first hour in the care of trauma patients), the proceedings of command meetings and the multi-agency response; and (b) develop recommendations for future training and evaluations. Results: The service evaluation identified that, within the golden hour, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust first responders rightly and rapidly declared the event a major incident, requested resources and assigned roles. Triage crews were tasked quickly, though it was identified that their efficiency may be further enhanced through more detailed triage briefings prior to entering the scene. The command meetings (led by the Metropolitan Police) lacked efficiency, and all agencies could make more effective use of the multi-agency shared radio network to address ongoing matters. Finally, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service NHS Trust teams demonstrated clear communication and co-ordination towards casualty extraction. Conclusion: Successful multi-agency working requires clear communication, information sharing and timely command meetings. It is recommended that Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles multi-agency talk groups should be utilised more frequently and used to complete a joint METHANE report. In addition, training in areas such as communication skills and detailed briefings will enhance the front line response. Finally, body-worn cameras are shown to be an effective service evaluation tool, as a basis for promoting best practice as well as highlighting areas for future training and evaluations.
    • Tools to predict acute traumatic coagulopathy in the pre-hospital setting: a review of the literature

      Robinson, Simon; Kirton, Jordan (2020-12-01)
      Introduction: Recognising acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) poses a significant challenge to improving survival in emergency care. Paramedics are in a prime position to identify ATC in pre-hospital major trauma and initiate appropriate coagulopathy management. Method: A database literature review was conducted using Scopus, CINAHL and MEDLINE. Results: Two themes were identified from four studies: prediction tools, and point-of-care testing. Prediction tools identified key common ATC markers in the pre-hospital setting, including: systolic blood pressure, reduced Glasgow Coma Score and trauma to the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Point-of-care testing was found to have limited value. Conclusion: Future research needs to explore paramedics using prediction tools in identifying ATC, which could alert hospitals to prepare for blood products for damage control resuscitation. Abstract published with permission.
    • The types and effects of feedback received by emergency ambulance staff: a systematic mixed studies review with narrative synthesis

      Wilson, Caitlin (2021-03)
      The phenomenon of feedback is well-researched within the wider healthcare context, where it is suggested that feedback can improve patient care and patient safety by enhancing clinical performance and staff mental health (Ivers et al., 2012). Within a pre-hospital context, systematic reviews have been conducted for automated feedback from defibrillators and debrief after simulation, but not on the wider concept of feedback. The aim of this systematic review was to identify, describe and synthesise the published literature on the types and effects of feedback received by emergency ambulance staff. Abstract published with permission.
    • What factors affect paramedics' involvement of people with dementia in decisions about their care? A qualitative study

      Choonara, Esme; Williams, Julia (2021-03)
      Paramedics are frequently called to people with dementia, but decision making can be challenging due to lack of information or difficulties in assessment. Best-practice dementia care should be holistic and involve people with dementia in decisions as far as possible. Abstract published with permission.