PHECC Community Paramedicine


Ireland is currently going through a health transition, moving from hospital centric care to primary care. Community Paramedicine provides community-centred healthcare services that bridge primary care and emergency care and undertakes expanded roles such as health promotion and disease/injury prevention, as well as acute assessment and treatment of chronic illness exacerbation and minor illness/injury.

The role of PHECC

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) is an independent statutory body who set the standards for education and training for pre-hospital emergency care in Ireland. Within their role of setting standards for pre-hospital care, PHECC have undertaken to develop a framework and standards for ‘The introduction of Community Paramedicine into Ireland’.

Community paramedicine pilot projects

To date, there have been two pilot projects for community paramedicine in Ireland. The first was undertaken by the ambulance services of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland under the EU-funded Co-operations and Working Together Health and Social Care Partnership. The services were provided in the border counties with the educational component provided by Glasgow Caledonian University. The CAWT project was considered a success and received both extended funding and various healthcare awards including the Sustainable Healthcare Project of the Year 2019. Following conclusion of the CAWT project the HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS) undertook a new pilot project with education provided with their academic partners, University College Cork (UCC).

Development of PHECC framework

PHECC’s vision is to have a pre-hospital care structure that brings the right care to the right patient in the right place and at the right time. Community paramedicine is in keeping with this vision. To ensure delivery of this vision, standards are required to guide planning, implementation, delivery and review of community paramedic services throughout Ireland.

PHECC is working collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework. Development is taking place under the direction of the PHECC Medical Advisory Committee (MAC).

The introduction of Community Paramedicine into Irelandreport 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.

Community Paramedicine Practice Framework Scoping Exercise

To gain an insight into how community paramedicine systems operate in other jurisdictions, PHECC have partnered with Monash University, Australia to conduct an international community paramedicine practice framework scoping exercise. Systems operating in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Finland and the USA were examined to determine scope of practice, models of service delivery, educational standards, practitioner entry requirements and integration with primary care. In addition, an appreciation of barriers and facilitators to community paramedicine schemes was sought and is documented in the report.

The report is comprehensive and provides valuable information to the PHECC community paramedicine sub-committee, PHECC Executive and Council as we progress this important project. PHECC are grateful to Brendan Shannon, Alan Batt, Georgette Eaton, Kelly-Ann Bowles, Brett Williams and all of the international contributors who were instrumental in the production of the scoping report.

PHECC- Community Paramedicine Restricted Review