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The ambulance service: the past, present and future

05 May 2012
Volume 4 · Issue 5

The College of Paramedics continues to campaign for a formal position where an undergraduate degree is the prerequisite for entry. This position is based on the strategic direction necessary to enable ambulance services to respond to the changing demand confronting them. In the first part of this article, Andy Newton traces the history and development of the ambulance service and paramedic profession to date, and proposes a ‘shift to the left’ in ambulance service operations. In the second part of the article, to be published in June, the actions needed to achieve this shift will be described.

The past is indeed another country; they do things differently there. In comparatively recent mid-20th century history ambulance services operated to a simple formula, conceived and designed function essentially as transport providers as even in the earlier days transport was the main, but not sole purpose, with little capability to influence patient outcome. But times have moved on with technological advances, heightened community expectations and changes to the professional, cultural, and economic backdrop.

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