Ambulance Service welcomes the decision to enable paramedic drug prescribing

New laws will allow hundreds of advanced paramedics to prescribe drugs, improving care for patients, speeding up access to treatment and preventing unnecessary visits to hospitals and GP practices.

Patients already rely on paramedics to administer live-saving treatment when they become critically ill or are involved in a serious accident.

The new laws, which came into force on April 1, allow the most qualified and experienced paramedics to also prescribe medication for patients who do not need hospital treatment.

Up to seven out of 10 patients seen by urgent care advanced paramedics may need help but do not necessarily need to go to hospital. For example, elderly patients with urinary tract infections, people with back pain who need require relief or asthma patients who could be helped with a course of oral steroids. You can read more about the plans here.

The changes have been welcomed by the Patients Association and the Sepsis Trust, which said they could save lives, and also by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE).

Julian Mark, Chair of the National Ambulance Service Medical Directors’ Group, on behalf of AACE, said:

“AACE welcomes the decision to allow paramedics to prescribe independently. This will enable advanced paramedics who work in appropriate settings to give patients the medicines they need to better manage their care.

It is a significant advancement for the paramedic profession and we thank NHS England, the College of Paramedics and the other healthcare organisations who have been involved behind the scenes to achieve this important milestone.”



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