ECP development pays big dividends in emergency care
( Divisional manager (practice development) - Skills for Health )
Date: Aug 18, 2010
Normally, over 75 per cent of 999 calls to the ambulance service result in admission to an emergency department. However, evidence at South Central Ambulance Service shows that the emergency care practitioner (ECP) role can make a big difference to these figures – in some areas of the trust, up to 90 per cent of such cases are discharged without needing further emergency care.
With healthcare providers facing a range of pressures around urgent care, Skills for Health in partnership with stakeholders developed a portfolio of competences for roles across the emergency and unscheduled care pathways. The portfolio describes the performance criteria, knowledge and understanding needed to carry out the role effectively, and also formed the basis for devising the new role and learning programme for ECPs.
The flexibility of the ECP role means that each can be used in a number of ways. In some areas, they attend with rapid response vehicles to all three call categories. Other ambulance trusts use ECPs to staff a clinical support desk that advises on clinical decision making along the emergency and urgent care pathway.
You can visit the Skills for Health website to find out more about the competence portfolio and access further information about the ECP role.