Community Paramedicine Webinar 22nd Sept 2021

PHECC Community Paramedicine Report


Ireland is currently going through a health transition moving from hospital centric care to primary care. The Sláintecare Report is the strategic framework which is guiding this transition. Community Paramedicine provides community-centered healthcare services that bridge primary care and emergency care and undertake expanded roles such as health promotion and disease/injury prevention. The genesis of Community Paramedicine lies with the provision of health care to under-served communities filling healthcare service gaps. The intention of Community Paramedic in an Irish context is to work collaboratively with other partners in health to bring the right care to the right patient in a home setting. 

The pilot Community Paramedicine programme, under the auspices of Co-Operation and Working Together (CAWT), has received excellent reports from the participants and experiences garnered during this important project, and will help to inform developments in this area. Engagement with key stakeholders will form a central pillar of further developments.

The Medical Advisory Committee of PHECC established a working group to compile a report to be considered by the MAC and presented to the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council. The subsequent report was presented to Council and the recommendations within were approved in August 2020. 

The introduction of Community Paramedicine into Ireland’ report is now available and will form the groundwork for the development of a Community Paramedic Standard and Implementation Plan. The work of the MAC subcommittee will continue under the Chair of Dr. Tomás Barry with the aim of progressing developments in this important area.

Feedback on the report is welcomed and a feedback form is available here.

Meeting host:

Dr Tomás Barry, Chair PHECC Community Paramedicine sub‐committee.

Topics and Speakers:

- Establishment of a Community Paramedicine Pilot in Ireland; Bridget Clark, National Ambulance Service (NAS) Project Lead.
Bridget has been working with the NAS for 2 years leading out on the implementation of the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy (2019) & developing new roles/MSc programmes such as Community Paramedics. Prior to joining NAS she was General Manager of Cavan & Monaghan Hospital, following many years of Senior Nursing & Change Management Project Roles. Bridget is passionate about safe and high quality evidence-based care and strives to improve patient experience continuously. She has been working in the Irish Health service for almost 30 years and her priority is to introduce models of care as close to patients homes and communities as is clinically appropriate.

- Community Paramedicine: A PHECC Practitioner’s perspective; Ann McDermott, NAS Community Paramedic.
Ann joined the National Ambulance Service in 2008 as a student paramedic, and completed the Advanced Paramedic Programme in 2015.  In 2017 she was selected for a position in Donegal on the CAWT Cross-border Community Paramedicine Programme. In 2019 she returned to Dublin and has been working as a Community Paramedic based in Tallaght for the past two years. In 2020 Ann completed her MSc in Advanced Paramedic Practice in Glasgow Caledonian University. 

- Community Paramedicine: A GP’s perspective; Dr Seamus Clarke, General Practitioner, Clones, Co. Monaghan.

- An international experience of Community Paramedicine; Georgette Eaton, Clinical Practice development Manager, London Ambulance Service.

Panel discussion:

Moderated by Alan Batt, Adj Assoc Prof of Paramedic Science.

Panel speakers:

- Professor Andy Newton is the current Chairman of the Health Practice Associates Council. He has been instrumental in its formation and continues to provide expert guidance and support. Professor Newton’s achievements for the ambulance service over the past 30 years are recognised internationally. He led the Paramedic profession as Chair of the College of Paramedics for 7 years and previously Chaired the College’s education committee, he has made a lasting impact focusing on developing paramedics to play a full role as Allied Health Professionals, across the whole spectrum of the health economy.

- J.D. Heffern, Chief Paramedic, Senior Advisor, Indigenous Services Canada, First Nation and Inuit Health Branch, Government of Canada. 
J.D. Heffern is a Canadian Advanced Care Paramedic having served as a front-line paramedic and also within the developing community paramedicine scheme, previously working as an Advanced Care Community Paramedic imbedded within a community family health team partnering and developing with other primary care providers. For the last two years, J.D. worked as Federal Paramedic Portfolio Manager for Indigenous Services Canada in a secondment role.  In November 2020 J.D. accepted a permanent full-time Chief of Paramedicine and Senior Advisor position within Indigenous Services Canada – First Nation and Inuit Health Branch. His role is to research, design, educate, create policy and programming as it pertains to paramedicine and the role of Community Paramedics working in and with primary care supporting northern Canadian indigenous communities. J.D. has maintained a role as a part-time Commander with the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service in Ontario, Canada where he supports the leadership team in delivering out-of-hospital care supporting service innovation and progression.  In his spare time, he is extremely passionate about global paramedicine knowledge transference.  He has extensively worked to develop Paramedicine initiatives in Germany, UK, Ireland, Iceland, and Turkey. J.D. has represented and presented internationally on a variety of current trends and topics and has a love for networking with likeminded individuals and organisations.

- Robert Morton, currently Director, NAS, previously Unscheduled Care Lead for HSE, following roles as CEO East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, CEO South Australian Ambulance Service and Director, NAS, volunteered as an AP in Ireland and Intensive Care Paramedic in Australia. Almost 30 years experience in healthcare, currently registered as AP with PHECC, Paramedic with HCPC (UK) and Paramedic with AHPRA (Australia).