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Pre-hospital care

Research for Ambulance Services

The role and the scope of ambulance services has changed radically over recent decades. The ambulance service is now expected to provide complete pre-hospital care.

The majority of 999 calls are not traffic accidents or heart attacks. More typically, calls involve people with complex and ongoing health problems experiencing a crisis. This could be an elderly person with heart failure and diabetes having had a fall, someone with lung disease experiencing breathlessness or a person at risk of suicide ringing in distress.

DOI: 10.3310/themedreview-000827 

Care at the Scene front cover

Care at the Scene - Research for ambulance services

Care at the Scene brings together recent NIHR research evidence on urgent and emergency care, focused on the ambulance service. It features:

  • Insights from paramedics, researchers and commissioners
  • 22 published studies
  • 17 ongoing projects
  • Questions for your organisation



average number of 999 calls treated at the scene, without conveyance to hospital.


calls were made to 999 during 2014/15 - double the number 10 years ago.


Potential saving to the NHS in technology spend identified by PARAMEDIC 2 study.


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