Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia Trial

Friday, 10 May, 2024

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is pleased to announce that it is about to commence a pilot project to increase the provision of Pre-Hospital Emergency Anaesthesia (PHEA) to the most critically ill and injured patients in our region to improve the care they receive.

SWASFT has over 10 years' experience in providing the clinical governance to four charity air ambulances in the region, including the delivery of PHEA and other critical care interventions by the multidisciplinary Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) teams working with the charities. These teams comprise specialist and advanced clinical practitioners working with PHEM doctors.

In collaboration with Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), the Trust is embarking on a pilot project to assess the feasibility of one of our Advanced Clinical Practitioners in Critical Care (ACP-CC) delivering PHEA as part of a team to adult patients with certain conditions that have evidence-based improvement in outcome if PHEA is provided. This enhanced level of care will only be provided by a Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care Level 8 consultant practitioner with the Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care (FIMC). This practitioner has education in both in-hospital and prehospital emergency anaesthesia, together with recognised training and extensive experience in both prehospital care and the delivery of PHEA. Therefore, has proven competency in the delivery of this advanced standard of care.  This will expand the multidisciplinary pool of consultant PHEM practitioners delivering advanced care within the Trust.

All cases where PHEA is delivered in this project will undergo the same rigorous audit and peer review that are undertaken for all PHEA within the Trust. In addition, all cases will undergo panel review from an external group of national clinical leaders in PHEM and PHEA delivery.

This project has been discussed in detail with key external stakeholders. This includes support from the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care (RCSEd), the College of Paramedics, and the Chair of the Intercollegiate Board for Training in PHEM. The proposal has also been shared with the National Ambulance Service Medical Directors.

The Trust hope to achieve its ambition that, with a detailed review, this project can lead to positive changes in prehospital care practice in the UK to, not only align with many other countries, but fundamentally improve the availability of time critical lifesaving care to patients in need.



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