Critical care paramedics in England: a national survey of ambulance services

Johannes von Vopelius-Feldt, Jonathan Benger
European Journal of Emergency Medicine: Official Journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine 2014, 21 (4): 301-4
Critical care paramedics (CCPs) have been introduced by individual ambulance trusts in England, but there is a lack of national coordination of training and practice. We conducted an online survey of NHS ambulance services to provide an overview of the current utilization and role of CCPs in England. The survey found significant variations in training, competencies and the working patterns of the ∼90 CCPs working in five ambulance services. All ambulance trusts currently employing CCPs are planning on increasing CCP numbers, whereas 'insufficient financial means' and 'insufficient scientific evidence' are the two major barriers to CCP utilization. The CCP model established in five ambulance services in England is unique within Europe. With increasing numbers of CCPs, concerns about lack of supportive scientific evidence and clinical need should be addressed. Optimal delivery of prehospital critical care in England remains controversial.

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