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Emergency care practitioners
  1. J Scott,
  2. C Carney
  1. East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Scott
 Ambulance Headquarters, East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust, Hellesdon, Norwich, Norfolk NR6 5NA, UK;

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Important developments in the delivery of emergency care

With rapidly changing healthcare provision, many new job roles and titles are appearing in emergency, primary, and secondary care. This proliferation has led to a degree of confusion that may have detracted from some very important developments that are taking place in the delivery of out of hospital emergency and unscheduled (urgent) care.

In out of hospital care, the previous descriptors of technician, paramedic, and immediate care doctor were born out of a hierarchic structure, however as education and training opportunities have occurred there has been a blurring of the edges between all these groups.

Within primary care and A&E units, the introduction of new targets and ways of working are demanding the introduction of clinicians with new skills and competencies.

In tracing the origins of these new developments, the first ideas on practitioner development in prehospital care were put forward by Douglas Chamberlain, the then Chairman of the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) and the Ambulance Services Association (ASA) in January 2000.1 The resulting “practitioner in emergency care” (PEC) concept started the debate that has evolved or metamorphosed to become the more elegant sounding emergency care practitioner (ECP).

What does this title mean and what areas …

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