London Ambulance Service celebrates ten years of ‘advanced’ paramedics

The highly-skilled and highly qualified paramedics are sent to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses or injuries across the capital

Samantha Margetts (credit London Ambulance Service)
Samantha Margetts (credit London Ambulance Service)

Advanced paramedics at London Ambulance Service are celebrating their tenth anniversary – a decade in which the specialist team has given patients life-saving treatment and care that otherwise would only be attempted in hospital by doctors.

The highly-skilled and highly qualified paramedics are sent to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses or injuries across the capital.

And it is now ten years since the first ever patient was cared for by an advanced paramedic practitioner in critical care, a pioneering clinical role created role in London.

Advanced paramedic Samantha Margetts said: “We are pushing the boundaries for what paramedics can do on the roadside or in people’s homes, including surgical procedures and realigning broken bones.

“We carry specialist equipment and medicine which is in addition to those carried by ambulance crews and can be life-changing for our patients.”

Advanced paramedics work alone in fast response cars and are most commonly sent to patients in cardiac arrest to support ambulance crews support ambulance crews care for the sickest patients bringing their additional skills and experience.

They are also called to patients with traumatic injuries – those who have been in traffic accidents, victims of assault or significant sports injuries.

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

TV viewers got the chance to see the amazing care these paramedics provide in the latest series of Emergency which can be streamed on Channel 4.

Cameras followed the advanced paramedics, minute-by-minute as they made crucial decisions for their critically ill patients whose lives were in their hands.

When the team was first set up in 2014, there were twelve advanced paramedics. There are now 40, with three clinical supervisors and a clinical development manager. 

As well as responding to patients night and day, one advanced paramedic is always on duty in the London Ambulance Service control room listening to 999 calls.

From the control room, they decide which patients might need the life-saving care of a critical care paramedic. They can also provide advice to crews on the road.

Samantha added: “We have the opportunity to make a real difference to a lot of patients and their families, and a lot of crews. But we could not do our job without all the ambulance crews on scene – we are a team.”

All advanced paramedics hold a master’s degree and the team is renowned around the world for its ground-breaking ambition. London Ambulance Service regularly hosts visits from trusts across the country seeking to learn from the team’s development.

After the success of the critical care paramedics, London Ambulance Service introduced advanced paramedic practitioners in urgent care. They aim to treat patients at home for less serious injuries and illnesses; chronic and complex conditions; or patients who are frail, elderly or nearing the end of their life.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or annually 

More Information about donations