Senior Paramedic role at North West Ambulance Service

BackgroundThe service made its vision clear to implement a clinical leadership and supervision structure, some years ago. This process began with the introduction of a consultant paramedic and a team of 36 advanced paramedics. Their role was to focus on clinical care, quality and safety and to provide support and supervision to all frontline clinicians. The trust then developed the model further by conducting a review of clinical band six roles occupied by 256 staff members with a variety of titles; emergency care practitioner, operations supervisor, assistant operations service manager, clinical trainer, team leader and clinical practice supervisor.Research for the review included three methods to scope out the work carried out by band six staff in addition to their ambulance response duties: Line managers were asked to set out the duties of the supervisory and trainer grades;A focus group took place which identifed the actual work carried out;Every band six member of staff was given the opportunity to complete an online questionnaire.The findings of the review raised questions about how effectively these roles were being carried out due to the many aspects required of staff, some with a greater clinical bias and some with a greater bias towards logistical functions.Other conclusions drawn from the review included the lack of strength and status to supervise operational staff groups 24 hours a day seven days a week, across a large geographical footprint, alongside meeting performance targets and keeping up with essential requirements such as infection prevention and control.Feedback from face-to-face staff sessions clearly identifed the need for local supervision. A system where staff could identify a local leader and have access to them in their daily work was needed. The trust’s human resources strategy also set out the ethos for team working in well defned staff groups with identifed leaders.

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