• Clinical leadership in the ambulance service

      Walker, Alison; Sibson, Lynda; Marshall, Andrea (2010-06-18)
      Ambulance Services in England have recently launched the Report of the National Steering Group on Clinical Leadership in the Ambulance Service. This is the first document specifically reviewing the roles and development of Clinical Leadership, at all levels, for UK ambulance service clinicians. The document covers an evidence-based review of clinical leadership principles outlined in key policy documents, publications and systems; a strategic framework for clinical leadership in ambulance service; and includes examples of good current practice in ambulance service clinical leadership and development Clinical leadership has been referred to in a number of key policy documents; most notably, Taking Healthcare to the Patient: Transforming NHS Ambulance Services (DH 2005) made a number of recommendations of which Recommendation 62 is the most relevant to this document. “There should be improved opportunity for career progression, with scope for ambulance professionals to become clinical leaders. While ambulance trusts will always need clinical direction from a variety of specialties, they should develop the potential of their own staff to influence clinical developments and improve and assure quality of care.” This report focuses on putting theory into practice, a proposed clinical leadership ladder and a clinical leadership self-assessment tool for individuals and organisations. Some clinical leadership examples are also included. The completed report was formally launched at the Ambulance Leadership Forum (English ambulance services, with participation for Clinical Leadership from the other UK ambulance services) in April 2009 and will pave the way for the development of the Ambulance Service National Future Clinical Leaders Group. This national pilot, involving all the UK NHS ambulance services, will comprise of staff with paramedic backgrounds who will receive leadership development to work with the CEOs and Directors of Clinical Care groups to progress clinical quality and clinical leadership development in the ambulance service. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/6/490.2. 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.2009.078915
    • 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.
    • Cross-sectional study of the hospital management of adult patients with a suspected seizure (EPIC2)

      Dickson, Jon M.; Dudhill, Hannah; Shewan, Jane; Mason, Suzanne; Grünewald, Richard A.; Reuber, Markus (2017-07)
      Objective To determine the clinical characteristics, management and outcomes of patients taken to hospital by emergency ambulance after a suspected seizure. Design Quantitative cross-sectional retrospective study of a consecutive series of patients. Setting An acute hospital trust in a large city in England. Participants In 2012–2013, the regions’ ambulance service managed 605 481 emergency incidents, 74 141/605 481 originated from Sheffield (a large city in the region), 2121/74 141 (2.9%) were suspected seizures and 178/2121 occurred in May 2012. We undertook detailed analysis of the medical records of the 91/178 patients who were transported to the city’s acute hospital. After undertaking a retrospective review of the medical records, the best available aetiological explanation for the seizures was determined. Results The best available aetiological explanation for 74.7% (68/91) of the incidents was an epileptic seizure, 11.0% (10/91) were psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and 9.9% (9/91) were cardiogenic events. The epileptic seizures fall into the following four categories: first epileptic seizure (13.2%, 12/91), epileptic seizure with a historical diagnosis of epilepsy (30.8%, 28/91), recurrent epileptic seizures without a historical diagnosis of epilepsy (20.9%, 19/91) and acute symptomatic seizures (9.9%, 9/91). Of those with seizures (excluding cardiogenic events), 2.4% (2/82) of patients were seizing on arrival in the Emergency Department (ED), 19.5% (16/82) were postictal and 69.5% (57/82) were alert. 63.4% (52/82) were discharged at the end of their ED attendance and 36.5% (19/52) of these had no referral or follow-up. Conclusions Most suspected seizures are epileptic seizures but this is a diagnostically heterogeneous group. Only a small minority of patients require emergency medical care but most are transported to hospital. Few patients receive expert review and many are discharged home without referral to a specialist leaving them at risk of further seizures and the associated morbidity, mortality and health services costs of poorly controlled epilepsy https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/7/e015696.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/bmjopen-2016-015696
    • Cross-sectional study of the prehospital management of adult patients with a suspected seizure (EPIC1)

      Dickson, Jon M.; Taylor, Louise H.; Shewan, Jane; Baldwin, Trevor; Grünewald, Richard A.; Reuber, Markus (2016-02)
      Objectives: Suspected seizures are a common reason for emergency calls to ambulance services. Prehospital management of these patients is an important element of good quality care. The aim of this study, conducted in a regional ambulance service in the UK, was to quantify the number of emergency telephone calls for suspected seizures in adults, the associated costs, and to describe the patients’ characteristics, their prehospital management and their immediate outcomes. Design: Quantitative cross-sectional study using routinely collected data and a detailed review of the clinical records of a consecutive series of adult patients (≥16 years). Setting: A regional ambulance service within the National Health Service in England. Participants: Cross-sectional data from all 605 481 adult emergency incidents managed by the ambulance service from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. We selected a consecutive series of 178 individual incidents from May 2012 for more detailed analysis (132 after exclusions and removal of non-seizure cases). Results: Suspected seizures made up 3.3% of all emergency incidents. True medical emergencies were uncommon but 3.3% had partially occluded airways, 6.8% had ongoing seizure activity and 59.1% had clinical problems in addition to the seizure (29.1% involving injury). Emergency vehicles were dispatched for 97.2% of suspected seizures, the seizure had terminated on arrival in 93.2% of incidents, 75% of these patients were transported to hospital. The estimated emergency management cost per annum of suspected seizures in the English ambulance services is £45.2 million (€64.0 million, $68.6 million). Conclusions: Many patients with suspected seizures could potentially be treated more effectively and at lower cost by modifying ambulance call handling protocols. The development of innovative care pathways could give call handlers and paramedics alternatives to hospital transportation. Increased adoption of care plans could reduce 999 calls and could increase the rates of successful home or community treatment. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/6/2/e010573.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/bmjopen-2015-010573
    • 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. (2015-05)
      Introduction Decisions made by ambulance staff are often timecritical and based on limited information. Wrong decisions could have serious consequences for patients but little is known about areas of risk associated with decisions about patient care. We aimed to examine system in fluences on decision making in the ambulance service setting focusing on paramedic roles. Method An exploratory mixed methods qualitative study was conducted in three Ambulance Service Trusts. A document search and 16 interviews were conducted to understand service delivery in each Trust, how they link with other services and potential influences on decisions about patient care. Researchers observed ambulance crews on 34 shifts and 10 paramedics completed ‘digital diaries’ to report challenges for decision making or patient safety. Three focus groups with staff (N=21) and three with service users (N=23) were held to explore their views on decision making and patient safety. Data were charted to produce a typology of decisions then coded and thematically analysed to identify in fluences on those decisions. Findings Nine types of decision were identi fied, ranging from specialist emergency pathways to non-conveyance. In fluences on these decisions included communication with Control Room staff; patient assessment, decision support and alternative options to ED conveyance. Seven main issues in fluencing patient safety in decision making were identi fied: meeting demand; performance and priorities; access to care options; risk aversion; education, training and professional development for crews; communication and feedback to crews; resources and safety culture. Conclusions A range of decisions are made by ambulance staff in complex, time bound changing conditions. Training and development and access to alternative options to ED conveyance were identi fied as particularly important issues. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e2.1.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-2015-204880.4
    • Describing and predicting frequent callers to an ambulance service: analysis of 1 year call data

      Scott, Jason; Strickland, Annette Patricia; Warner, Karen; Dawson, Pamela (2014-05)
      Aims Ambulance services in England receive around 8 million calls a year, and no known studies have explored characteristics of frequent callers. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of the most frequent callers to Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) between April 2010 and March 2011. Methods Top 100 frequent callers to YAS were analysed using population comparison, case control and multiple regression methods. 7808 calls were made by the frequent callers, and data were analysed to predict total number of calls made, and explore characteristics of frequent callers. Results Six call codes were associated with a higher number of calls. Frequent callers were assigned slower response levels, or often no call code. Calls increased during the times of 4:00–9:00, 16:00–20:00 and 22:00–2:00, and in the months of December, January and February. Men and patients with all but the very highest conveyance rates had a higher number of different reasons for calling. Patients with a medical diagnosis were more likely to be conveyed, while patients with a psychiatric classification had a higher number of different reasons for calling, were older and were more likely to call for ‘assault/sexual assault’ or ‘haemorrhage/laceration’. Conclusions Frequent callers to YAS were a heterogeneous group that differed from the overall population served, resulting in numerous implications for the delivery of services for this group of patients. Further research is required to determine if and how frequent callers differ from frequent attenders at emergency departments. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/31/5/408.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-2012-202146
    • Developing leadership in the UK’s ambulance service: a review of the consultant paramedic role

      Hodge, Andrew (2014-03)
      Abstract published with permission. Background: This study seeks to understand part of the emerging clinical leadership framework implemented in the UK’s NHS ambulance services in recent years. The aim is to explore the relatively new role of consultant paramedics and understand their leadership activities in relationship to nationally determined requirements, and the challenges they face performing this crucial leadership role. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with all consultant paramedics in the UK in 2013. Thematic analysis and coding were used to analyse the data and identify emergent themes. Additionally, basic demographic data was collected for comparison against national requirements. Findings: The findings illustrated three key themes: credible clinical leadership, an emerging empowered profession, and role expectations. There is a clear indication that consultant paramedics are a key part of clinical leadership for the paramedic profession. However, they are challenged to remain clinically competent by undertaking regular clinical practice and providing visible leadership on the ground, while strategically taking the profession forward. Operational resistance and power issues were highlighted as some of the problems faced by these clinical leaders. Implications: The findings may prove useful for employers in reviewing their clinical leadership structures, and in workforce planning for future consultant paramedics. The paramedic profession and its professional body may equally find this study useful for informing future strategic planning.
    • Developing new ways of measuring the quality and impact of ambulance service care: the PhOEBE mixed-methods research programme

      Turner, Janette; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Coster, Joanne; Jacques, Richard; Irving, Andy; Crum, Annabel; Gorrod, Helen B.; Nicholl, Jon; Phung, Viet-Hai; Togher, Fiona Jayne; et al. (2019-04)
    • Does the pandemic medical early warning score system correlate with disposition decisions made at patient contact by emergency care practitioners?

      Gray, J.T; Challen, K.; Oughton, L. (2010-12)
      Objective To assess the performance of the pandemic medical early warning score (PMEWS) in a cohort of adult patients seen in the community by emergency care practitioners (ECP) and its correlation with ECP decision-making to either ‘treat and leave’ or transfer for hospital assessment. Methods Cases attended by ECP in South Yorkshire in 2007 in which the final ECP working diagnosis was a respiratory condition were retrospectively identified from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service database. The patient report forms were reviewed for the PMEWS variables and scores calculated using the PMEWS system. The outcome measure was management in the community versus transport to hospital. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were calculated to assess the discrimination of PMEWS. Results A cohort of 300 patients was assessed. 217 (72%) were aged 65 years or over, and 272 (91%) had either comorbid disease or impaired functional status. 98 (33%) were deemed to need hospital assessment or admission. The ROC curves suggested that there is good correlation between the PMEWS score and the decision to discharge. Conclusions PMEWS correlates well with decisions to admit to hospital or leave at home made by extended role practitioners in the patient group studied; however, further prospective work is required to further validate early warning scoring systems in prehospital care. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/27/12/943.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/emj.2009.072959
    • Effectiveness of FAST campaign 2009 in South Yorkshire

      Kini, M.; Venables, Graham; Randall, Marc; Ryan, T.; Crossley, J. (2012-12-06)
    • Effectiveness of paramedic practitioners in attending 999 calls from elderly people in the community: cluster randomised controlled trial

      Mason, Suzanne; Knowles, Emma; Colwell, Brigitte; Dixon, Simon; Wardrope, Jim; Gorringe, Robert; Snooks, Helen; Perrin, Julie; Nicholl, Jon (2007-11)
      Objective To evaluate the benefits of paramedic practitioners assessing and, when possible, treating older people in the community after minor injury or illness. Paramedic practitioners have been trained with extended skills to assess, treat, and discharge older patients with minor acute conditions in the community. https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/335/7626/919.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. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39343.649097.55
    • Elderly falls: a national survey of UK ambulance services

      Darnell, Gareth; Mason, Suzanne; Snooks, Helen (2012-12-29)
      Objective To provide a detailed description of the current UK ambulance service provision for older people who fall. Method National survey of UK ambulance services. Results 11/13 Ambulance services (84.6%) participated in this national survey. Conclusion This survey has highlighted the need for robust evidence to inform policy, service and practice development to improve the care of this vulnerable population. https://emj.bmj.com/content/29/12/1009 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: 10.1136/bmj.h535
    • Emergency ultrasound in the prehospital setting: the impact of environment on examination outcomes

      Snaith, B.; Hardy, M.; Walker, Alison (2011-12)
      This study aimed to compare ultrasound examinations performed within a land ambulance (stationary and moving) with those completed in a simulated emergency department (ED) to determine the feasibility of undertaking ultrasound examinations within the UK prehospital care environment. The findings suggest that abdominal aortic aneurysm and extended focused assessment with sonography in trauma emergency ultrasound examinations can be performed in the stationary or moving land ambulance environment to a standard consistent with those performed in the hospital ED. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/28/12/1063.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/emj.2010.096966
    • Evaluate the improved value that NHS 111 can provide to palliative care patients and their families by utilising specialist palliative care nurses within urgent and emergency care

      Bradley, Alison; Littlewood-Prince, Michela; Kaushal, Usha; Mitchell, Kathryn; Leyland, Claire; Wanstall, Judith; Cooper, Nicholas; NHS 111 (2016-09)
      Introduction NHS111 Yorkshire and Humber, using the 4C’s framework to review Concerns, Complaints, Compliments and Comments became aware of issues regarding ‘delays’ to care for palliative care patients. We conducted a systematic review of palliative care services to identify areas for improvement. Aims To improve the value that NHS111 could provide to palliative care patients by understanding pathways for palliative care, testing the use of specialist palliative resources, developing ideas for technology developments, enhancing access to medicines through the use of pharmacists and to understand how NHS111 can work to enhance out-of-hours palliative care services in the region. Methods Intelligence was gathered to identify the current position to support palliative patients. Interventions were designed to provide new and improved ways of working. Palliative Nurses were employed for 5-weeks during out-of-hours and training provided to the wider healthcare team. Results Analysis of the results allowed further improvements to the provision of 24-hour care and out-of-hours provision. Higher levels of demand were experienced during weekend hours and at the start of a Bank Holiday periods. Palliative Care Nurses were also able to provide high levels of self-care’ advice without requiring onward referral. Conclusions We directly identified empirical evidence and delivered a range of benefits which support the ‘Dying without Dignity’ report and provided recommendations to directly address the issues of poor symptom control, inadequate out of hour’s service and poor care planning. Furthermore Training and Development for NHS 111 staff in palliative care matters was further enhanced with the development of a palliative care e-learning package. https://spcare.bmj.com/content/6/3/406.1 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/bmjspcare-2016-001204.57
    • An exploration of UK paramedics' experiences of cardiopulmonary resuscitation-induced consciousness

      Gregory, Pete; Mays, Ben; Kilner, Tim; Sudron, Ceri (2021-03)
      Consciousness may occur during cardiopulmonary resuscitation despite the absence of a palpable pulse. This phenomenon, known as CPR-Induced Consciousness (CPR-IC), was first described over three decades ago and there has been an increase in case reports describing it. However, there remains limited evidence in relation to the incidence of CPR-IC and to practitioners' experiences of it. Abstract published with permission.
    • Exploring ambulance conveyances to the emergency department: a descriptive analysis of non-urgent transports

      Miles, Jamie; O'Keeffe, Colin; Jacques, Richard; Stone, Tony; Mason, Suzanne (2017-12)
      An NHS England report highlighted key issues in how patients were initially navigating access to healthcare. This has manifested in increased pressure on ambulance services and emergency departments (EDs) to provide high quality, safe and efficient services to manage this demand. This study aims to identify non-urgent conveyances by ambulance services to the ED that would be suitable for care at scene or an alternative response. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/12/A872. 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. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207308.17
    • Exploring the developmental need for a paramedic pathway to mental health

      Elliott, Ruth; Brown, Paul (2013-05)
      Abstract published with permission. The following article discusses an organisational development need of a national ‘Mental Health Pathway’ to enable paramedics to provide the appropriate care for people who present mental health issues. The Department of Health acknowledges the huge modernisation of the ambulance service in England and faster access to people with immediate life-threatening conditions; however, the service is also responding to an increasing number of patients who have an urgent primary care need, which includes mental distress, as opposed to clinical emergency. The Department of Health (2009) policy calls for a ‘new vision’, where the ambulance service could increase efficiency and effectiveness towards patients who are experiencing non life-threatening emergencies. The key aims are to form a programme of advancement to address both improving mental health and accessibility of services for people with poor mental health. The vision of the policy is that by 2020 mental and physical health will have equal priority. The development of a mental health pathway within the ambulance service may help to reduce admissions or re-attendance, while improving care for patients. An evidence-based approach is used to provide a balanced, logical and supported argument within a reflection of practice. This is evaluated against a hypothetical patient’s case study, which reflects common issues faced by paramedics and ambulance technicians. The analytical process considers patient, professional, organisational and multi-disciplinary team perspectives.
    • A feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial of a paramedic-administered breathlessness management intervention for acute-on-chronic breathlessness (BREATHE)

      Northgraves, Matthew; Cohen, Judith; Allgar, Victoria; Currow, David; Hart, Simon; Hird, Kelly; Hodge, Andrew; Johnson, Miriam; Mason, Suzanne; Swan, Flavia; et al. (2021-03-29)