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NHS England has published guidance for PCNs intended to ‘improve understanding among general practice staff’ of how paramedics work in a primary are setting.
The guidance, jointly published by NHS England and Health Education England, clarifies when PCNs can claim reimbursement for paramedics under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) of the Network Contract DES.
Where a PCN recruits a registered paramedic into a trainee FCP or AP role under the
ARRS, they must be working towards or are already meeting the education and training requirements of the contract specification, it said.
This would mean having completed the two-year learning period as a newly qualified paramedic and a further three years as a band 6 paramedic, as set out in the DES.
According to the newly issued guidance, paramedics are first eligible for reimbursement
under the ARRS at five years as a trainee first contact practitioner (FCP), if they are employed under a rotational training programme.
Trainee FCPs are able to triage referrals, care for patients triaged from reception and assess patient presentation, but cannot manage prescribing or complex co-morbidities.
They should also be signed off by an HEE certified clinical supervisor within six months of the start of reimbursement.
Following HEE’s paramedic roadmap, these staff will then progress to an FCP role working at masters level clinically, and then onto an advanced practitioner (AP) role.
An AP can be directly employed in general practice and is able to deliver independent prescribing, maintenance of patient caseload, supervise and MDT, redesign care pathways and deliver leadership at system level.
For more information on how to work with a paramedic, GP partner and PCN co-lead Dr David Coleman outlines what paramedics can bring to general practice and how to decide if the role would suit your network.