Home visits from paramedic practitioners in general practice: patient perceptions

Alyesha Proctor
March 2019

Background: As set out in the General Practice Forward View (NHS England, 2016), the success of general practice will rely on new ways of working, including having a multidisciplinary workforce. The role of the paramedic practitioner (PP) working within a GP surgery was proposed in a report by the Primary Care Workforce Commission (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="B12">Health Education England, 2015</xref>). The role involves PPs having their own clinics within the GP surgery, managing a variety of presenting complaints, as well as conducting urgent home visits to assist with GP workload. However, what are patients' perceptions of being attended to by the PP in place of the GP? Aim: To explore older patients' perceptions of having PPs, who work in GP surgeries, attend to them on a home visit in place of the GP. Method: A qualitative study using face-to-face, semi-structured interviews, with thematic analysis. Findings: There is confusion regarding the role of the PP, with a strong desire to be informed more about it. However, despite this confusion, there is a positive perception among older patients of having a PP attend to them on a home visit in place of the GP. The patients felt that the PP managed their complaints well, and was equipped with the required skills and knowledge. Conclusion: Information needs to be provided to the public to increase awareness of the PP role. The role of the paramedic is changing; however, there is little published research investigating the contribution of paramedics working in primary care. This pilot study serves to highlight areas that require further investigation on the influence of the PP in general practice.

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