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The College of Paramedics is the recognised professional body for paramedics in the United Kingdom. The role of the College is to promote and develop the paramedic profession across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The college represents the paramedic profession across key organisations such as the UK regulator – Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC),the Department of Health and the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC).
Paramedicine in the UK began with regional schemes in the 1970s, the AEMT oversaw examinations and registration.[ citation needed ] A pass rate of 5% due to the wide syllabus and negatively marked high standards prevented the NHS from adopting the scheme, it would have cost too much and taken too long.[ citation needed ] Individuals had been self funding up to then and using days off as well as leave to undertake hospital training.[ citation needed ] The NHS introduced a national course in 1986 for 'extended care ambulance staff.[ citation needed ]' Existing Paramedics sat a conversion examination in November 1986 with the first certificates being awarded alphabetically[ citation needed ]. Courses began in the following year. The introduction of professional national registration of paramedics in 2000 led to a demand for the formation of a new professional body.
Paramedics were the only professional group in the initial registration to not have clear representation by a central professional body. Two members of staff from the then Essex Ambulance Service, Stephen Dolphin and Richard Lane,[ citation needed ] established a professional association to represent the paramedic profession and undertake the self-regulation of paramedic standards and education required by the HPC.[ citation needed ] The name of British Paramedic Association (BPA) was agreed at an inaugural meeting held at AMBEX in 2001. In 2009 the organisation's name was changed to the College of Paramedics. This reflected the association's ambitions to be the professional voice of pre-hospital ambulance clinicians, and also to act as the driving authority for increasing the quality of prehospital clinical care education, training, proficiency and continuous professional development.[ citation needed ]
In November 2015, the college was awarded registered charity status. As of June 2017 [update] , the college had a total membership of 12,700 – around 35% of registered UK Paramedics.
The board of trustees is appointed to ensure the college serves the interests of its members and the paramedic profession. It is responsible for the governance, oversight of business and the setting of the strategic direction for the profession.[ citation needed ]
The board is supported by an executive team and staff.
There are three levels of membership available within the colleg:[ citation needed ]
The college authorises the use of the following post-nominals by members:[ citation needed ]
The college has published policy, including;
The college are active participants of a range of groups, including the Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committee and the AACE Clinical Practice Guidelines.The college is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians hosted Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party and Guidelines Development Group, leading the pre-hospital guidelines development sub-group. The college has been the key partner in the development of the Professional Guidance on the Content of Ambulance Clinical Records.
The college represents the views and interests of the paramedic profession on various groups:
Emergency medical services (EMS), also known as ambulance services or paramedic services, are emergency services that provide urgent pre-hospital treatment and stabilisation for serious illness and injuries and transport to definitive care. They may also be known as a first aid squad, FAST squad, emergency squad, ambulance squad, ambulance corps, life squad or by other initialisms such as EMAS or EMARS.
An emergency medical technician (EMT), also known as an ambulance technician, is a health professional that provides emergency medical services. EMTs are most commonly found working in ambulances. In English-speaking countries, paramedics are a separate profession that has additional educational requirements, qualifications, and scope of practice.
A paramedic is a registered healthcare professional who works autonomously across a range of health and care settings and may specialise in clinical practice, as well as in education, leadership, and research.
A dietitian, medical dietitian, or dietician is an expert in identifying and treating disease-related malnutrition and in conducting medical nutrition therapy, for example designing an enteral tube feeding regimen or mitigating the effects of cancer cachexia. Many dietitians work in hospitals and usually see specific patients where a nutritional assessment and intervention has been requested by a doctor or nurse, for example if a patient has lost their ability to swallow or requires artificial nutrition due to intestinal failure. Dietitians are regulated healthcare professionals licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat such problems. In the United Kingdom, dietitian is a 'protected title', meaning identifying yourself as a dietitian without appropriate education and registration is prohibited by law.
The Health and Care Professions Council is a statutory regulator of over 280,000 professionals from 15 health and care professions in the United Kingdom. The Council reports its main purpose is to protect the public. It does this by setting and maintaining standards of proficiency and conduct for the professions it regulates. Its key functions include approving education and training programmes which health and care professionals must complete before they can register with the HCPC; and maintaining and publishing a Register of health and care providers who meet pre-determined professional requirements and standards of practice.
A paramedic is a healthcare professional, providing pre-hospital assessment and medical care to people with acute illnesses or injuries. In Canada, the title paramedic generally refers to those who work on land ambulances or air ambulances providing paramedic services. Paramedics are increasingly being utilized in hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics and community health care services by providing care in collaboration with registered nurses, registered/licensed practical nurses and registered respiratory therapists.
Allied health professions are health care professions distinct from optometry, dentistry, nursing, medicine, clinical psychology, and pharmacy. They provide a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and support services in connection with health care.
A sonographer is an allied healthcare professional who specializes in the use of ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos or three-dimensional volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. The requirements for clinical practice vary greatly by country. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to acquire, analyze and optimize information in the image. Due to the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic input, sonographers have a high degree of responsibility in the diagnostic process. Many countries require medical sonographers to have professional certification. Sonographers have core knowledge in ultrasound physics, cross-sectional anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
A Paramedic in Australia is a health care professional who holds a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in Paramedicine and is registered with the Paramedicine Board of Australia via the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) As of December 2021, there are over 22,500 registered paramedics in Australia, of which approximately 70% (15,750) work for a jurisdictional service, and of which 47% of which are female. Paramedics in Australia may undergo further training and complete a Master's Degree to specialise in either Intensive Care or Primary Care medicine.
Radiographers, also known as radiologic technologists, diagnostic radiographers and medical radiation technologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the imaging of human anatomy for the diagnosis and treatment of pathology. Radiographers are infrequently, and almost always erroneously, known as x-ray technicians. In countries that use the title radiologic technologist they are often informally referred to as techs in the clinical environment; this phrase has emerged in popular culture such as television programmes. The term radiographer can also refer to a therapeutic radiographer, also known as a radiation therapist.
Operating department practitioners(ODPs) are specialist allied healthcare professionals or clinicians involved in the planning and delivery of perioperative care. They are primarily employed in surgical operating departments but may also work directly within or further their training to facilitate working within a variety of acute clinical settings. These include pre-hospital emergency care, emergency departments, intensive care units (ICUs), endoscopy suites, interventional radiology, cardiac catheter suites, obstetric theatres and reproductive medicine.
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services (NHS) of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is only free to UK residents and a charge may be made to those not entitled to free NHS care.
Emergency medical personnel in the United Kingdom are people engaged in the provision of emergency medical services. This includes paramedics, emergency medical technicians and emergency care assistants. 'Paramedic' is a protected title, strictly regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council, although there is tendency for the public to use this term when referring to any member of ambulance staff.
An Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) generally come from a background in paramedicine and most have additional academic qualifications, usually at university, with enhanced skills in medical assessment and extra clinical skills over and above those of a standard paramedic, qualified nurse or other ambulance crew such as EMT's and Ambulance Technicians. It has been recommended by the College of Paramedics and Department of Emergency medical care in universities that ECPs be trained to PgDip or MSc level, although not all are. Evidence of the best way to target Emergency Care Practitioners is limited with utilisation of traditional Ambulance dispatch codes not always being shown to be most effective and referrals from GPs also potentially failing to deliver management of demand that would be appropriate for this different level of practitioner. Evidence however clearly demonstrates that in discreet groups of patients the use of these extended role staff responding to emergency calls can reduce admissions and thus improve patient outcomes as well as delivering a clear cost saving to the NHS.
JRCALC is the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee. Their role is to provide robust clinical speciality advice to ambulance services within the UK and it publishes regularly updated clinical guidelines. The first meeting of JRCALC was in 1989 and was hosted by the Royal College of Physicians, London.
Healthcare in England is mainly provided by the National Health Service (NHS), a public body that provides healthcare to all permanent residents in England, that is free at the point of use. The body is one of four forming the UK National Health Service as health is a devolved matter, there are differences with the provisions for healthcare elsewhere in the United Kingdom, and in England it is overseen by NHS England. Though the public system dominates healthcare provision in England, private health care and a wide variety of alternative and complementary treatments are available for those willing and able to pay.
Emergency medical services in New Zealand are provided by the Order of St John, except in the Greater Wellington region where Wellington Free Ambulance provides these services. Both have a history of long service to their communities, St John since 1885 and Free beginning in 1927, traditionally having a volunteer base, however the vast majority of response work is undertaken by paid career Paramedics. Strategic leadership of the sector is provided by NASO which is a unit within the Ministry of Health responsible for coordinating the purchasing and funding of services on behalf of the Ministry and the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Julia Williams is a British nurse and paramedic who is a Professor for Paramedic Science at the University of Hertfordshire. She is a member of the editorial board for the British Paramedic Journal and a member of the College of Paramedics Research and Audit Group. Williams is also a member of the 999 EMS Research Forum Board. The 999 EMS Research Forum is a UK-based partnership that brings together academics and health care providers with a research interest in emergency care. She has also supervised a number of paramedic PhD candidates.
Douglas Anthony Chamberlain, is a British cardiologist who founded the first paramedic unit in Europe, revolutionising pre-hospital clinical care.
The British Association for Immediate Care Scotland is an organisation involved with prehospital care. It has the aims of providing encouragement and aid with the formation of immediate care schemes and to provide training to support those working in prehospital care. It shares its origins with the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS), which has UK wide coverage. In 1993, the British Association for Immediate Care began running prehospital care courses in Scotland, which were met with a warm welcome and it became clear there was a large audience for such education, especially in remote and rural areas of Scotland. This need for training and organisational leadership became clearer after the 1994 Scotland RAF Chinook crash on the Mull of Kintyre. This led to the training provided by BASICS to be modified for a more rural setting, and to the development of BASICS Scotland as a separate organisation in 2002.