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There are two ways paramedics work in primary care;

1. Through a working relationship with a PCN and an ambulance trust; a rotational model where the trust remains the employer and supplies experienced paramedics to work with general practice to manage local population need. They can be involved in caseloads such as acute and unscheduled care in care homes, home visits or seeing and managing acute presentations in the practice.

2. Some PCN’s recruit directly and prefer the opportunity to further train their own staff in other areas or to be the practice lead on frailty, admission avoidance or advanced care planning. 

There are three main areas paramedics can support in primary care:

Urgent and unscheduled care

Paramedics are experienced in dealing with the unexpected and will conduct a detailed assessment and initiate a management plan knowing where the best place for that patient will be.

Our goals

  • manage urgent and unscheduled care to allow GPs to work with medical complexity
  • reduce conveyance rate to hospital

An evaluation of the first phase of the rotation paramedic pilot reported non-conveyance rates of at least 70%

“Paramedics bring a valuable skillset to primary care, in particular their grounding in the medical model, diagnosis and independent decision making and their experience in emergency and urgent care.”  Paramedic in primary care

Acute conditions

Paramedics can deal with acute or acute-on-chronic conditions freeing up the GPs to deal with more complex patients.

Our goals

  • manage triage for urgent conditions
  • responsibility for home visits for acute presentations

“Having niche skills from Paramedics adds to the depth of the offering that can be provided in General Practice, but being competent generalists for common conditions is the most important attribute.” GP

Prevention of unplanned admissions

Paramedics can be the eyes and ears of the GP, conducting regular ward rounds at nursing and care homes or visiting vulnerable patients at risk of admission to support management at home. Paramedics are specialist generalists, and will add value and a unique perspective to the general practice and multidisciplinary teams.

Our goals

  • admission avoidance

Studies have highlighted that the addition of paramedics in a primary care setting decreases GP workload.

A number of studies also document high satisfaction levels from patients who were visited by a paramedic in their home.