A pilot project designed to keep vulnerable people living in rural Scotland and Ireland out of hospital has been shortlisted for a top EU award.
The Scottish Ambulance Service and Glasgow Caledonian University have been instrumental in the Community Paramedic Project, which allows patients to be treated either in their own home or in the community, without the need to travel long distances to the nearest A&E department.
And now the project – supported by EU funding – has been recognised by a prestigious Europe-wide awards scheme called RegioStars 2019.
Shortlisted against competing projects from across all 28 member states, the community paramedic project has made it through as a finalist in the ‘Modernising Health Services’ category.
The Community Paramedic Project, managed by the CAWT cross-border Health and Social Care Partnership, will now go head to head with four other EU-funded projects hoping to claim the award.
The initiative is also in with a chance of winning the Public Choice Award, which will be decided by public vote.
The winners of these awards will be announced during the 2019 EU week of Cities and Regions at a ceremony held in Brussels on October 9.
Bernie McCrory, chief officer of CAWT said: “This project, involving ambulance services from the three regions working together, is enhancing the health and social care of citizens living in more rural and isolated areas and is enabling the transition from traditional institution-based service provision to a more community-based approach. The valuable EU funding investment provided by the SEUPB is supporting the health services to implement joint cross-border solutions to issues that affect citizens living in the border region.”
Delivered on a cross-border basis, the pilot project is training existing paramedics based in Western Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland to become Community Paramedics.
To date, the scheme has benefited vulnerable older people living in isolated, rural areas, across all three regions. It has also helped to free up time, resources and bed space amongst a number of hospital A&E, Emergency Department and Acute Medical Assessment Units.