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Pickering Gets Dedicated Ambulance Practitioner

10 August 2012

A GROUNDBREAKING scheme to provide a rural community in North Yorkshire with its own community-based medical practitioner has been launched in Pickering.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust now has a dedicated highly-skilled Emergency Care Practitioner based in the town who will respond to 999 calls and provide support to healthcare professionals to meet the needs of local people.

Located at Pickering Medical Centre the practitioner will respond to life-threatening and serious emergencies but will also provide other medical support in the Pickering area, dealing with minor injuries, assisting GPs and nurses at the surgery and carrying out home visits.

The scheme, launched at the beginning of August 2012, is part of ambulance service’s commitment to improving the quality of patient care, responding to the needs of local communities and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

Mark Northcote, an Emergency Care Practitioner employed by Yorkshire Ambulance Service for eight years, will take on the new role in Pickering serving a population of more than 7,000.

Armed with a fully-equipped emergency rapid response vehicle, Mark will be based in Pickering for all of his shifts each week. He said: “This is an innovative project that provides an alternative way for clinical staff to use their professional skills for the benefit of the community. I’m really looking forward to working more closely with people within the local community, from pre-school children to older people.”

Mike Wright, A&E Locality Manager for the Yorkshire Coast at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “This scheme was launched as we want to provide a flexible service that better meets the needs of residents in the Pickering area.

“Having a highly-skilled Emergency Care Practitioner based within the local community will help us to achieve this goal. It will also allow us to engage with residents, be proactive in our approach and address the real needs of the area by working within it.” 

Emergency Care Practitioners can originate from a paramedic, nursing or other registered healthcare professional background and undertake additional training in injury assessment, diagnostic skills and advanced wound care. They help to relieve pressure on the emergency ambulance service and treat and care for patients at the scene of an incident or in their own homes to avoid unnecessary transportation to hospital. 

The scheme will be reviewed in October 2012 and could be extended if successful.



Produced By: Corporate Communications Department