“How people die remains in the memory of those who live on” – Cicely Saunders

“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” – Cicely Saunders

SAAS Extended Care Paramedics (ECPs) are Intensive Care Paramedics who have completed specialised training, skills enhancement, and placements. They are all registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

ECPs provide alternative care pathways for patients, assist in providing appropriate choices for patients, and reducing unnecessary transport to hospital. Attendance by an ECP reduces the disruption to patients and their carers associated with a trip to hospital. If, after assessment, the patient still needs to go to hospital, the ECP will arrange this. Patients receive tailored care and, if needed, will be managed in collaboration with other health professionals such as GPs, Specialists, and allied health care providers.

 Home is the preferred place of care for most palliative patients, and when they reach the end stage of their illness, their preferred place of death. But primary health care provision for this patient group is inconsistent and mostly provided by family, loved ones or residential care staff who feel unconfident in providing such care. These anxious carers often call emergency services for urgent help as they witness the worrying and unexpected symptoms of disease deterioration or dying, thus making Paramedics and the Ambulance Service the patient’s first point of contact in primary care. An understanding is needed of the role of paramedics in palliative and end of life care, and a relationship with GPs is important.

‘Paramedics are in a unique position to help deliver palliative and end-of-life care in the home, especially after-hours for palliative care emergencies.’

Presentation Slides

Andrew Noble

Andrew Noble is a Clinical Team Leader and Extended Care Paramedic, Specialist Services, SA Ambulance Service. Andrew has been a Paramedic with SA Ambulance for 25 years. During that time, he has also worked as a rescue paramedic at Uluru and in the Solomon Islands. He is currently a Clinical Team Leader with the Extended Care Paramedic team and has been with them since its inception in 2009.  As well as being a Clinical Team Leader, he coordinates their education and training.

We are extremely grateful for his support of our Project ECHO – Enhancing Palliative Care.