GP practices will benefit from a new pilot that will see a specialist and advanced paramedics rotating through the ambulance service, community multi-disciplinary team and primary care.
The paramedic pilot, launched by Health Education England (HEE) on 24 January, allocates £600,000 to trial the new rotational model to check its feasibility.
Specialist and advanced paramedic practitioners (SPPs and AAPs) are set to work across the NHS, to help within the ambulance service, community-based teams and GP practices.
HEE said that having SPPs and AAPs ready to deliver care at the scene would reduce the number of emergency calls that lead to an increase in A&E admissions.
Speaking of the benefits the programme would offer to GP practices, HHE clinical lead for the Rotating Paramedic Pilot Programme Rhian Monteith said that AAPs and SPPs will help ease planned activities within a practice.
He said: ‘This might involve running clinics for selected patient groups; care planning for high-volume service users within the practice; acute home visiting; coordinating the care of those patients who are reaching end of life; or seeing and treating ‘same day’ urgent or emergency presentations that could have defaulted to 999 if the surgery is at full capacity.
‘The model offers real opportunity to fully utilise the unique skill set of SPPs and APPs to benefit the health system and to develop the paramedic profession.’
It comes after a BMJ Open survey published last week showed how increased workload was a reason of stress for GPs, with many deciding to retire earlier or take a short leave from the service.
Wirral, South East Hants, Newcastle and Derbyshire/Lincolnshire have already been selected to take part in the programme, after showing commitment to the model and willingness to monitor and share their learning. They were therefore given a £150,000 share of the funding after they successfully bid to pilot the rotational model.
HEE regional director Patrick Mitchell said: ‘This is a really exciting opportunity to invest in and test out a new way of working that will have benefits for many parts of the NHS and, more importantly, for patients.’