A new scheme to deliver enhanced care nearer to the homes of North Wales patients, has been launched by the Welsh Ambulance Service.
The Advanced Paramedic Practitioner (APP) pilot began last week, and involves a 10-strong team of advanced paramedics operating on a rota basis.
It sees two APPs in rapid response vehicles working across the region every day, attending calls selected by another member of the team based in the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Llanfairfechan.
APPs are those who have gained additional education, training and skills, and in many cases are able to assess and treat patients in the community, or refer them to alternative care providers.
For patients with conditions which are not immediately life-threatening, the aim of the project is to deliver care at home where appropriate and prevent an unnecessary trip to hospital.
Meanwhile, the team is also available to attend calls coded as red – the most serious category – when they are the nearest available resource.
Andy Swinburn, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Assistant Director of Paramedicine, is leading the scheme and hopes it will set the standard for future advanced practice schemes across Wales.
He said: “We have an enthusiastic team of highly skilled clinicians from across the region involved in this project, which we believe will help to make it a success.
“The aim is that it will result in better outcomes for patients in North Wales by making sure they receive the most appropriate care for their needs.
“In many cases it will mean they won’t necessarily be taken to hospital, but might have an improved care plan put in place which allows them to stay at home instead.
“Not only will this have clear benefits for our patients, but also the wider healthcare system, which we know will be busy during the winter period.”
The pilot will run until 31st March 2018 and once complete, its success will be evaluated to guide the direction of advanced paramedic practice moving forward.