U K Paramedics

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Non emergency work

The patient transport service (PTS) branch of the service transports a wide range of patients including:
  • out patients
  • disablement service centre patients
  • routine discharges and admissions
  • geriatric and psycho geriatric day care
  • non urgent inter hospital transfers
  • and those unable to attend hospital by any other means
PTS ambulances are manned by ambulance care assistants (sometimes known as PTS drivers) who are trained in the particular needs of these patients as well as in comprehensive first aid, specialist driving skills, patient moving and handling techniques, basic life support and patient care skills. Although this work does not involve emergency duties it is crucial to most ambulance services and provides opportunities to support and give assistance to those in need.

The patient transport service use specially designed vehicles (usually with tail lifts) to provide high levels of comfort for patients, whilst the attendant will travel with the patients so that they may relieve anxiety during the early stages of hospital admission. In some services a number of PTS crews are specially trained as high dependency teams which are available for patients with specific clinical needs during transport.

Both the emergency and patient transport services are supported by a number of support staff, with a range of responsibilities. These include call handlers and emergency medical dispatchers, control room staff, administrators and managers.

The NHS ambulance service is provided by 13 local ambulance trusts across England, and further information can be obtained from any of them. Visit the 
NHS Choices website for details of the ambulance trusts, or from the Ambulance Service Association below. Job vacancies are usually advertised on the NHS Jobs website.


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