Additional training allows paramedics to treat patients at home

The introduction of specialist paramedic training to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has allowed for hundreds of patients to be treated at home, avoiding subsequent referral to hospitals and therefore relieving pressure on overburdened A&E departments.

Figures show that in 2013/14, EEAST carried out wound closure treatment in more than 400 patients at their own home.

This comes as welcome news following a report published by NHS Confederation earlier this year, which emphasised the need for more paramedics to be trained to treat at home. The report, entitled Ripping off the sticking plaster: Whole-system solutions for urgent and emergency care, argued for the need of a radical overhaul of emergency care services in order to cope with unsustainable pressures.

Jori Krijgsman, a clinical operation manager for EEAST, said:

‘The treatment ultimately means better care for patients and saves them a journey to hospital. The wound can be treated quickly and effectively through the use of adhesive stitches or dissolvable glue.’

The training has now been introduced to the new student paramedic course, following successful feedback from patients and paramedics. EEAST currently recruits 400 students.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 23 June 2014.

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