Leadership and Management

Could mindfulness activity improve occupational health in UK paramedics?

Emerging research is supporting the implementation of mindfulness-based strategies for NHS staff. It has been shown that, by spending 10 minutes daily on the activity, health professionals can improve their emotional and cognitive functioning, while reducing work-related rumination. Through an exploratory multi-methods approach, this study sets out to quantify the occupational health levels of paramedics, and establish their appreciation of both their employer's health and wellbeing policy and...

The paramedic profession: disruptive innovation and barriers to further progress

The paramedic profession in the UK evolved from a small number of pilot programmes in the early 1970s that focused on training selected NHS ambulance crews in advanced resuscitation techniques. Similar initiatives occurred almost simultaneously in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. This case study focuses primarily on the UK, and England in particular. The purpose of the initiatives described was to address the unmet needs of patients with serious injury and illness. Over the...

Effective clinical feedback provision to ambulance clinicians: a literature review

Background Clinical feedback provision to health professionals is advocated to benefit both clinical development and work engagement. Aim This literature review aims to develop recommendations for effective clinical feedback provision by examining mechanisms that exist specifically for ambulance clinicians. Method: A systematic search of contemporary literature identified 15 research papers and four articles, which were included for review and narrative synthesis. Findings The initial...

Taking a holistic approach to acute mental health crisis

An innovative, collaborative model implemented by a UK ambulance service allows patients presenting with a mental health condition to be promptly assisted by a specialist team comprising a paramedic, mental health nurse and police officer. Initial evidence suggests that greater collaboration between emergency services and mental health trusts benefits patients and services: leading to timely assessments, reductions in patient distress levels, and decreasing emergency department overcrowding...

Prehospital use of the traction splint for suspected mid-shaft femur fractures

Introduction: A retrospective audit of electronic patient care records (ePCRs) highlighted the infrequent use of the traction splint for the management of femur fractures. The aim of this study was to improve the use of the traction splint for patients presenting with a mid-shaft femur fracture in the absence of contraindications, by means of introducing a purpose-designed trauma CPD training course. Methods: An intervention consisting of a simulation-based mandatory trauma CPD training...

The impact of paramedic shift work on the family system: a literature review

Aim: The current review investigates the impacts of paramedic work on the family system. Paramedics are taking time off or leaving through stress, and career decisions could be influenced by this perceived impact. Method: A systematic literature review was conducted and the literature critiqued. Two themes were identified: emotional labour and work-family fit. Results: Paramedics rely on families for emotional support, putting them at risk of vicarious trauma. The historical male coping...

Scoping ambulance emissions: recommendations for reducing engine idling time

The NHS is a significant contributor to the UK's greenhouse gases and environmental pollution. The current review seeks to examine the degree to which ambulance services contribute to environmental pollution and provides quality improvement suggestions that may reduce emissions, save money and improve public health. A literature search was conducted to identify the English language literature for the past 7 years related to ambulance service carbon emissions and pertinent strategies for reducing...

Advanced prehospital stroke triage in the era of mechanical thrombectomy

Direct transport to a comprehensive stroke centre that is capable of endovascular thrombectomy may improve outcomes in patients with large vessel occlusive stroke. A number of prehospital triage tools have been developed to see if clinicians can predict which patients would benefit from this procedure, allowing them to bypass a primary stroke centre in preference for a comprehensive stroke centre. A literature search was performed across a number of medical databases; six triage tools were...

What is the paramedic's role in smoking cessation?

Background: Both the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England have made smoking cessation a health promotion priority but the paramedic's potential impact in this important area has yet to be fully realised. Aim: This article proposes an evidence-based quality improvement intervention that can be adopted by paramedics at an individual, service-wide or national level to promote smoking cessation. Methodology: Building on a structured literature...

Leadership in training: a Q&A with Ian Corrie

As well as the use of practical clinical scenarios, the training weekend was also used to provide leadership and development training for senior members of the regiment. In this special Question and Answer feature, the man in charge, Ian Corrie, provides a more in-depth insight into what the training involved

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