Nurses and paramedics in partnership: Perceptions of a new response to low-priority ambulance calls
By Machen I, Dickinson A, Williams J, Widiatmoko D, Kendall S.
Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire
To explore patients' and staffs' perceptions of a pilot service which dispatched a nurse and paramedic to low-priority ambulance calls. However, Methods: Patients' opinions of both pilot and standard service groups were obtained through qualitative questionnaire data and individual interviews. Staffs' perceptions were explored via two focus groups. Questionnaires were sent to a convenience sample of 128 patients attended by the pilot service and 128 patients receiving the standard service. Initially 19 questionnaire participants agreed to be interviewed. Focus group participants (n=11) included nurses and paramedics involved in the pilot service. Results: Sixty-four questionnaires were returned and 11 interviews were conducted. Patients receiving the pilot service were enthusiastic about opportunities for care to be provided in their home. Involvement in the pilot service was a positive experience for staff. They felt confident in managing calls effectively because of their combined knowledge and skills, and believed that the quality of patient care had been improved. They also experienced increased job satisfaction and skills development. Conclusion: Both patients and staff expressed positive views about the pilot service. Patients appreciated being treated at home and staff believed that working together provided more appropriate care for patients and enhanced interprofessional development.