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05 The RESearch PARamedic Experience (RESPARE) study
  1. Graham MClelland1,2,
  2. Karl Charlton1,
  3. Matt Limmer1
  1. 1North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  2. 2Newcastle University, UK


Background The research paramedic is a relatively niche role undertaken by a small number of paramedics who support, deliver and promote research. Research paramedic positions are often temporary due to the project-based nature of studies. The routes into research, and how to establish a research career, are not as clear as routes into other areas of practice and very little has been published about the research paramedic role. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of people who work, or have worked, as research paramedics.

Methods A generic qualitative approach underpinned by phenomenological concepts was used. Participants were recruited via ambulance research leads and social media. Online focus groups allowed participants to discuss their roles with peers who may be geographically distant. Semi-structured interviews will expand on the focus group findings. Data were analysed using framework analysis.

Results Thirteen paramedics representing nine NHS trusts participated in three focus groups in November 2021.

Initial themes include: common routes into the role; delivering versus developing research; barriers and facilitators to recruitment; networking and support; and clinical credibility.

Five interviews are planned for December 2021 to expand on these findings.

Conclusions Further analysis is needed but initial findings indicate that many research paramedics have had similar experiences in terms of starting by delivering research for large studies then building on this experience and the networks they create to develop their own research. There are recognised organisational and financial barriers to working as a research paramedic. Progression beyond the research paramedic role is not very well defined but often involves building links outside of the ambulance services.

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