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Understanding complaints about paramedics : a qualitative exploration in a UK context.

Lucas, G. and Zasada, M. and Gallagher, A. and Jago, R. and Banks, S. and Zubin, A. and van der Gaag, A. (2019) 'Understanding complaints about paramedics : a qualitative exploration in a UK context.', Australasian journal of paramedicine., 16 . pp. 1-7.


Introduction: This research set out to understand the context and explore the reasons for the disproportionate number of complaints raised against paramedics to the United Kingdom professional regulator – the Health and Care Professions Council – relative to other health professions. Methods: This paper reports on qualitative findings from one aspect of a mixed-methods study which included a case analysis, Delphi study and literature review. One-to-one semi-structured interviews conducted with 15 stakeholders drawn from practitioners, educators, representatives and regulators, and three focus groups held with 16 practitioners and service users were used to gain an in-depth understanding of the possible reasons for complaints about paramedic practice. Results: Five themes were generated from a thematic analysis of the data: the impact of public perceptions and expectations; the challenges of day-to-day practice; the effect of increasingly pressurised services; the organisational and cultural climate which impacts paramedics’ work; and the evolving nature of the profession. Conclusion: This study highlights the complex and changing nature of paramedic practice. It provides an insight into the ways in which the character, practice and environment of the profession contribute to a disproportionate number of complaints.

Item Type:Article
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:06 November 2019
Date of first online publication:2019
Date first made open access:03 July 2020

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