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News from The Larrey Society conference: The future for Emergency Medical Services

News and updates from The Larrey Society conference looking at the future for Emergency Medical Services and the role of Paramedics.

With opening presentations from Professor Andy Newton President The Larrey Society and Consultant Paramedic South East Coast Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Jonathan Benger National Clinical Director for Urgent Care NHS England, the EMS Conference 2016 is today setting a new benchmark for debating the future of emergency medical services and the role of paramedics in Britain. As the 21st century moves towards 2020 the future for emergency medical services is a continuing issue for debate within the healthcare community in the UK. 

Professor Andy Newton on the future for the Emergency Medical Service; "We’re living in a world of austerity as far as health care is concerned despite the relative protection and it will not have been lost on any of you that the ambulance service is not if in a state of disarray, then certainly in one of extreme pressure and when you have times of extreme pressure, then there are really only two opportunities to address the circumstances one find themselves in.  That’s really either compromise or it’s innovation and when one considers that the ambulance sector as a whole is in a set of circumstances whereby only 50% of services have reached foundation trust status, whereby we have organisations in various states of investigation, or in various states of concern including special measures, I think one has to admit that it’s time to think radically about how we see the future."
Full speech

Emergency Medical Services: What is the best model for the UK?

Prof Jonathan Benger, National Clinical Director for Urgent Care at NHS England discussed models of EMS.

UK Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are facing the combined challenges of:

  • Steadily rising demand for emergency care, driven by a more complex and older population and new opportunities to deliver skilled pre-hospital treatments
  • Steadily rising demand for urgent care, driven by demographic, social and societal change
  • Relative resource constraint
  • Challenges in the recruitment and retention of a stable, skilled and satisfied workforce


A response that simply relies on doing more of the same is doomed to failure, and radical re-design is already taking place, exploring new models of care and new professional opportunities. In keeping with the “Keogh Review” of urgent and emergency care, the traditional alignment of EMS with acute hospital services is shifting to achieve greater integration with primary, community and social care, with enhanced opportunities for treatment close to home, or via remote means where no resource attends at all.

Traditional models of response, treatment and transport are being challenged and replaced by a more flexible approach that allows the development of new roles. This needs to be delivered by a workforce that is trained, equipped and able to embark on a lifelong career with clear progression and rewards.

This presentation examines the current challenges for EMS in the UK, and emerging models of service delivery and workforce configuration. Of particular importance is the need to ensure that the ways in which ambulance services are managed and measured reflect the needs of a 21st century population, and are focussed on clinical priorities, rather than response times alone. The latest developments in this area will be considered, with a look ahead to the likely changes to come.  

The role of mobile treatment centres
Pete Brown
Resilience Officer South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Full PowerPoint presentation

Responding to mental health crisis
Case study: Developing a street triage service 
Clair Carson
Assistant Director of Operations Mental Health Pennine Care NHS Trust
Full PowerPoint presentation

The future view of EMS technology
Lynda Sibson Consultant Editor Journal of Paramedic Practice & Telemedicine Manager Addenbrookes Hospital
Full PowerPoint presentation

The Larrey Society Britain’s first cross-sector "think tank" was formed in 2015, to give senior executives from the public, independent and voluntary ambulance sectors and paramedic educators the opportunity to pool their ideas to shape a service fit for purpose in the 21st century. 

21 January 2016


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