November 2, 2021

"What I Really Think..." - Anonymous Opinions From The Industry

"What I Really Think..." - Anonymous Opinions From The Industry

This week: When is a medical escort not a medical escort?

There are three accepted categories of medical escort used by the industry: doctor, nurse and paramedic, but not all companies have yet grasped the advantages provided by paramedics...

It is a reasonable assumption that if a medical escort is required, the patient is in some way vulnerable and needing professional help to manage an issue or the possibility of an issue arising.

Even the air transfer of a patient with a cast on a lower leg fracture can go horribly wrong in the event of an embolism or DVT.

It is a known fact that a number of assistance companies are employing doctors and nurses who are out of active practise and no longer working within an acute care role...

One has to ask: what is the advantage of sending a retired GP with no exposure to resuscitation and advanced life support to collect a patient, over an advanced trained paramedic who performs these skills on, often, a daily basis?

Then we have the bigger problem of nurse escorts...

The skillset across the nursing role and the level of skills carried by nurses varies enormously – from the part-time nurse working in an outpatient department to the paediatric ICU nurse or the A/E charge nurse.

There should be no place for nurse or doctor escorts who are not working within a critical care area at least some of the time...

A nurse who is only employed to carry out medical assistance repatriation is a dangerous thing and would not pass scrutiny by a coroner’s court, and that is also true for doctors who have no experience in aviation medicine.

It's time the industry lifted the standards of staff employed before the courts or government get involved...

We have seen the start of this process already, with a leading doctor of a UK assistance company recently being questioned at a ‘fitness to practice’ tribunal.