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The ambulance service: the past, present and future

04 July 2012
Volume 4 · Issue 7

The first two parts of Andy Newton’s article reviewed the history of ambulance services and the changing profle of demand and identifed a major challenge which up until now has been the subject of several reports but is yet to be fully addressed operationally.

In the concluding part, Andy Newton has tabulated the changes in the dominant concepts of ambulance operations since 1948, identifes the key enabler to meet the challenges of today, and draws conclusions to the three-part article.

The move from training to education for paramedics is one example of the failure to reform ambulance services to meet the changing nature of demand. Education of the workforce is a prerequisite for lasting change and the core enabler for changing clinical behaviour, though it has proved to be slower than some might have expected. This is despite further adverse media attention from BBC’s Panorama (BBC, 2000) and other programmes that have highlighted defciencies in ambulance services’ operations and academic recognition that conventional ambulance paramedic training does not match the demand actually dealt with by paramedics (Lendraum et al, 2000).

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