How to see a paramedic without calling 999 The who, what and why of paramedics working in primary care settings



  • Dr Alison Porter, Swansea University Medical School


  • Mark Kingston, Swansea University Medical School
  • Gemma Nosworthy, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Dr Matthew Booker, University of Bristol
  • Georgette Eaton, University of Oxford

Primary care in the UK is facing significant challenges. Delivering care to an aging population with complex co-morbidities is difficult enough, but resources are constrained and recruitment and retention of doctors in general practice has suffered. Across the UK, a shift towards multi-disciplinary models of primary care has led to the creation of a new role: the paramedic working in primary care. Models of paramedics in primary care vary in terms of configuration, arrangements for service delivery and governance. Some paramedics retain a role in ambulance services and rotate into primary care for some of their shifts; others have made the leap to employment in the primary care sector. Some are concentrating on home visits, while others run clinics in surgery, or triage patients over the phone. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges.

As this new model of care evolves, researchers are assessing what impact it has on patient care. What particular skills do paramedics bring to the primary care team, or are they just another pair of hands? Can they deliver care safely? Are they cost effective? And what does it mean for paramedics themselves when they step away from the ambulance? This workshop will explore these issues with those at the front line of implementing and evaluating paramedics working in primary care settings.

We will bring together four people who have been working on the development and evaluation of paramedics in primary care. They will discuss with the audience the development and future of this model of care in its range of forms, and the challenges of assessing impact. The format of the session will be four brief ‘elevator pitch’ style presentations, followed by facilitated discussion featuring questions from the audience.