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A survey of general practitioner’s opinion on the proposal to introduce ‘treat and referral’ into the Irish emergency medical service

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

A survey of general practitioner’s opinion on the proposal to introduce ‘treat and referral’ into the Irish emergency medical service

10$

Brian Power & Gerard Bury 

Abstract

Background

The introduction of treat and referral by ambulance practitioners is under active consideration in Ireland. The Irish ambulance services have traditionally transported all patients following an emergency (112/999) call to an emergency department. The introduction of treat and referral will present a significant care pathway change.

Aims

To engage GPs in relation to the proposed introduction of treat and referral.

Methods

A postal survey of 50 general practices in the southeast of Ireland was completed in 2019 to identify their opinion on the introduction of treat and referral. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and Pearson’s chi-square tests were used to identify statistically significant differences among GP cohorts.

Results

A 78% response rate was achieved. Respondents indicated that informal treat and referral was practised by 40% of GPs. A significant majority of GPs indicated that their patients with diabetes or epilepsy would benefit from treat and referral and were happy for paramedics to make appointments posthypoglycaemia or seizure. There was no clear consensus in relation to confining treat and referral to adults only. Barriers to the implementation of treat and referral were a significant issue for GPs.

Conclusions

GPs are in the main supportive of the introduction of treat and referral; however, they have identified several barriers that may inhibit successful introduction. Importantly, a GP appointment within 48 h does not appear to be a barrier. The adequacy of the working relationships between GPs and the ambulance service and its practitioners appears to have reduced since 2006, which is concerning.

Only units of this product remain
Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s11845-020-02224-4