It is as refreshing as it is unusual to be able to post a ‘good news’ story about General Practice. Spilsby Surgery is delighted to be one of half a dozen UK sites involved in piloting the integration of Specialist Paramedics (SPs) alongside GP practice teams.
general practices routinely suffer a ‘quantity overload’
Who are our Paramedic colleagues? Karen, Andy, Gary (right) and Mark (below) are four of East Midlands Ambulance Service’s most highly qualified staff. Of late their talents have been under-utilised, transporting patients to hospital who may not need to be there. Most UK general practices routinely suffer a ‘quantity overload’ of demand, with insufficient resources of time and personnel to care for all our patients – problems that healthcare commissioners try to bury at the bottom of their ‘too difficult’ tray. The SPs will be working alongside practice staff to assess patients at home and in the surgery, organising their care, treating their illnesses, and hopefully keeping patients safe at home rather than in an A&E corridor. This in turn frees up ambulances and reduces pressure on hospitals.
The Lincolnshire pilot commenced at Spilsby in April and is funded by Health Education England; the plan being that it rolls out to our neighbours at Stickney Surgery and Old Leake Medical Centre shortly. If you speak to our duty doctor or advanced nurse practitioner and agree that you need to be seen that same day, it is possible you will be assessed and treated by one of the Specialist Paramedics.
90% of NHS care is delivered – in out-of-hospital settings
The Specialist Paramedics project is a welcome deployment of resources where 90% of NHS care is delivered – in out-of-hospital settings. It is also the opportunity for health professionals to understand each others’ roles better, break down the ‘silo’ working practices of individual components of the health service, and build trusting inter-professional relationships. The net result is a benefit to you, our patients.