More use of Community First Responders

There should be more use of Community First Responders by the NHS where this doesn't involve clinical care or where such clinical care is basic. This could involve basic checkups and even assisting nurses and doctors in the community. The vast majority of CFR's are not being used for anything the Scottish Ambulance Service Trained them for. There are about 1,400 CFR's in Scotland, yet not one is being used for the skills they were trained in. SAS are currently only using about 35 CFR's and in every case, there CFR training is not being used. Although some CFR's are being used, they are being used for work that doesn't involve any training they had from SAS, for example, they are being used in call centres because their civilian training/experience. In other parts of the UK, CFR's are still active, yet in Scotland they are not even allowed to attend a Cardiac Arrest. CFR's are used to working with ambulance staff, so it's not as if this would be something new to them, some have even done observer shifts with ambulance crews.

Why the contribution is important

Using CFR's would free up some nurses and health care assistants to provide additional support to patients in greater need. It would take pressure off staff in other areas and allow for extra breaks for staff. If used in the community, they would help provide care that would have otherwise taken longer. Providing the care in the community would also let the community know that they have not been forgotten, something that is important in rural settings.

by Dragon on May 08, 2020 at 08:13AM

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  • Posted by JMack May 11, 2020 at 13:43

    It is possible that Community First Responders could play an important role, in combination with doctors/nurses/paramedics, in the context of my earlier suggestion: "The Benefits of Early Health Interventions for Suspected Covid-19 Cases" As Covid-19 testing capability builds in Scotland, the opportunity to take a more proactive, early intervention approach to the illness opens up. As our understanding of the virus grows, it seems clear that through “silent hypoxia” and hidden damage to vital organs, many Covid patients are, in fact, very ill by the time they call 111 and are subsequently admitted to hospital, putting intense pressure on high-intensity medical services up to and including intensive care. I suggest that the Government and NHS in Scotland now gives active consideration to much earlier and closer medical intervention along the lines of the process that has operated in Germany. The following illustrative quote is from the Byline Times, 4th April: “Another reason why Germany has managed to limit the mortality rates is because of huge coordinated community engagement and outreach programme that helps to limit the spread of the disease within the cases of early mild and moderate symptoms. Germany set up a programme of ‘corona taxis’ – where doctors outfitted in protective gear, travel around their local communities to check on patients who are at home, a week into being sick with the coronavirus. They take a blood test from the patient, looking for signs that the patient is about to go into symptom decline. They then often suggest early hospitalisation, or offer medication to patients who have mild or moderate symptoms; therefore increasing the likelihood of minimising patient deterioration in the earlier stages of symptoms and improving the chances of surviving before any rapid infection decline by being in a hospital when symptoms begin.” Why the contribution is important 1. The suggestion may be a significant contribution to saving lives. 2. There may be improved health outcomes in terms of chronic health conditions arising from the virus. This is clearly good for the people affected, and good for the best use of NHS resources in the longer term. 3. Once more people are back at work, enabling Covid sufferers to return to good health more quickly, and with less chronic secondary illness, will have beneficial effects for the Scottish economy.
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