The ambulance service: the past, present and future

Learning from the past, living in the present, but looking to the futureThe 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.This article argues for an urgent shift in ambulance operations, from predominantly care and transport focused approach, to a more explicitly targeted service delivery model emphasising clinical decision-making and facilitated by an investment in paramedic education and the development of specialised practice at the post-registration level.

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