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“Reforming Emergency Care” and ambulance services
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  1. T P Judge
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr T P Judge
 LifeFlight of Maine, PO Box 811, Bangor, ME 04401, USA; tjudgeahs.emh.org

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The call to action must be heeded, getting there is the real challenge

Dr Robertson-Steel presents us with a call to action in transforming prehospital care called for in the government’s 2001 white paper “Reforming Emergency Care”.1 Having laid out three underlying principles to guide the ambulance service response the author then outlines essentially three global strategies to meet the principles:

  • linked if not national agreed standards for prioritisation of response;

  • transforming the education and scope of practice of ambulance paramedics to more definitively assess and manage illness; and finally

  • creating new networked partnerships between all providers of unscheduled care with core funding provided by a single source.

In articulating a vision of the future the author echoes work by Nicholl et al2 regarding the future of the ambulance services within the UK and rightly acknowledges the challenges of delivering ever more and improved services within a near static delivery structure and budget. Inexorable increases in demand, the probable inability to agree on prioritisation standards, the lack of agreed standards of access …

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