The safety of referral

The past decade has seen the introduction of emergency care practitioners, critical care paramedics and an assortment of extended skills have been added to ambulance clinicans’ repertoire. These developments have often evolved from a change in government policy and the subsequent drivers that influence the way we deliver our care. The most significant, over recent years, has been the need to treat more patients at home in an attempt to prevent an unnecessary journey to the emergency department (ED). Such a shift in the balance of care means that the traditional ‘default’ position of transportation to the ED is often no longer justifiable. In its place, where patients and circumstances permit, an alternative pathway of care may be offered through referral to other more appropriate services.

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