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Initial experience in setting up a medical student first responder scheme in South Central England
  1. William H Seligman1,2,
  2. Sameer Ganatra2,3,
  3. David England4,
  4. John J M Black4,5
  1. 1Severn Foundation School, UK
  2. 2University of Oxford Medical School, Oxford, UK
  3. 3Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  4. 4South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  5. 5Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr William Seligman, The Academy, Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6BB, UK; william.seligman{at}


Prehospital emergency medicine (PHEM) is a recently recognised subspecialty of emergency medicine, and anaesthetics, intensive care and acute medicine, in the UK, and yet it receives little to no mention in many undergraduate medical curricula. However, there is growing interest in PHEM among medical students and junior doctors. Several programmes are in existence across the UK that serve to provide teaching and exposure of prehospital care to medical students and junior doctors. However, relatively few students are able to gain significant first-hand experience of treating patients in the prehospital phase. In this short report, we discuss our experience of launching the student first responder (SFR) scheme across three counties in the Thames Valley. Medical students are trained by the regional ambulance service and respond to life-threatening medical emergencies in an ambulance response vehicle. The scheme is likely to benefit the ambulance service by providing a wider pool of trained volunteer first responders able to attend to emergency calls, to benefit patients by providing a quick response at their time of need, and to benefit medical students by providing first-hand experience of medical emergencies in the community. In its first 15 months of operation, SFRs were dispatched to 343 incidents. This scheme can serve as a training model for other ambulance services and medical schools across the UK.

  • prehospital care
  • prehospital care, first responders
  • prehospital care, doctors in PHC
  • prehospital care, basic ambulance care

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