Publication Details

C. Thompson, K. Williams, D. Morris, L. Lago, C. Kobel, K. Quinsey, S. Eckermann, P. Andersen & M. Masso, HWA Expanded Scopes of Practice program evaluation: Extending the Role of Paramedics sub-project: final report (Australian Health Service Research Institute, Wollongong, Australia, 2014). http://ahsri.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@chsd/documents/doc/uow177110.pdf

Link to publisher version (URL)

Centre for Health Service Development


The Extending the Role of Paramedics (ERP) sub-project built on a model developed by the South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS) which aims to provide a service that is complementary to primary health care, thus reducing emergency department presentations. The core of the model is training Extended Care Paramedics (ECPs) to treat patients in their usual place of residence, with referral to other health professionals if appropriate. ECPs manage patients with a diverse, and often ill-defined, range of signs and symptoms. Although these patients are deemed 'low acuity', these cases can be complex and require the ECP to apply advanced clinical reasoning. In many cases, the patient may have multiple chronic conditions and present as generally unwell. The published evidence to date generally supports an expansion of the role of paramedics to include the assessment and management of patients with minor illnesses and injuries to avoid transport to hospital. However, the evidence is primarily from overseas, particularly the United Kingdom, and more research is required to establish the effectiveness and safety of the model.