Paramedics have, for many years now, been choosing primary care as the pathway for their professional development. This new initiative from Health Education England (HEE) will build on the strong foundations created by those paramedics who already work in a variety of roles across primary care.
The educational training pathway to Advanced Paramedic Practice in primary care will first see clinicians develop the clinical pillar of advanced practice, either by a portfolio route (for those with existing competency and education) or by a taught route in partnership with Higher Education Institutions.
Following completion of initial paramedic education and a period of consolidation in professional practice, the paramedic aspiring to work at advanced practice level in primary care will first work towards becoming credentialled as a First Contact Paramedic (FCP). Credentialling as an FCP will use a portfolio or taught route to evidence achievement of clinical competency in two stages, as outlined in the First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: A Roadmap to Practice (Paramedics). Credentialling and a register of clinicians who achieve each level will be overseen by the HEE Centre for Advancing Practice.
First Contact Paramedics will work in a diagnostic role, seeing a broad range of undifferentiated and undiagnosed conditions as the first point of contact. Clinical knowledge will be developed at academic Level 7 (Stage 1), and clinical expertise will be evidenced by Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) undertaken with clinical supervisors in primary care (Stage 2).
The table below provides information as to the differentiation between First Contact and Advanced Practice for paramedics working in primary care:
Progression to Advanced Practice in primary care will, for most, follow a taught route via a Higher Education Institution, achieving an MSc in Advanced Practice (or equivalent). Alongside continuing to develop as a clinician, with supervision and ongoing development – credentialing as an Advanced Practitioner requires the individual to demonstrate competency and capability in education, leadership and research (Four Pillars of Advanced Practice).
The College is supportive of this framework, which provides paramedics with a clear pathway to achieve their aim of working in primary care. The framework also offers those currently working in primary care with guidance and clarity for clinical supervision and opportunity to evidence their education, training and core competencies in order to credential via the portfolio route.
The College of Paramedics is actively working with HEE and the Centre for Advancing Practice to determine the role of professional examinations, such as the Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care offered by the College, to support paramedics to credential as Advanced Practitioners in primary care.
Click here to read the New Road Map to Advanced Practice in Primary Care.
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