Paramedicine Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary

2021/22 annual summary

Paramedicine in 2021/22

Snapshot

23,053 paramedics

  • Up 7.3% from 2020/21
  • 2.7% of all registered health practitioners

1.8% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

47.6% female; 52.3% male

Age

Age: <25 11.1%, 25-34 38.6%, 35-44 21.3%, 45-54 17.8%, 55-64 9.9%, 65-74 1.3%, >75 0.0%

Regulating

Notifications

152 notifications lodged with Ahpra about

116 paramedics

  • 296 notifications about 213 paramedics made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 0.9% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 35.5% Employer, 21.1% Other practitioner, 15.8% Patient, relative or member of the public, 5.3% Health complaints entity, 1.3% Board initiated, 21.0% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 27.6% Clinical care, 9.9% Behaviour, 9.9% Offence against other law, 9.2% Health impairment, 6.6% Communication, 4.6% Breach of non-offence provision - National Law, 3.9% Boundary violation, 3.3% Confidentiality, 2.6% Medication, 0.7% Documentation, 21.7% Other

24 immediate actions taken

49 mandatory notification received

  • 27 about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 132 notifications closed, 10.6% conditions imposed on registration, 10.6% cautioned or reprimanded, 7.6% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 71.2% no further action

Monitoring

47 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

252 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 7 for conduct
  • 13 for health
  • 1 for performance
  • 20 for prohibited practitioner/student
  • 211 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

16 criminal offence complaints made

  • 15 about title protection
  • 1 about practice protection

17 closed

Referred to an adjudication body

1 matter decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel

Appeals

2 appeals lodged

From the Chair

Issues this year

The end of grandparenting on 1 December 2022 was a sentinel event in the program of work to establish paramedicine as a regulated health profession. After that date practitioners could only be qualified for registration by holding an approved or accepted qualification, a substantially equivalent qualification or a relevant qualification and successful completion of the paramedicine competence assessment.

Policy updates

To support this transition the Paramedicine Board of Australia developed and implemented a policy framework for the assessment of non-approved or non-accepted qualifications. This enabled suitably qualified paramedics from Australia and overseas to still apply for registration after the grandparenting provisions ended. We appreciate the ongoing work and commitment of the assessment consortium that performs the competency assessments on behalf of the Board. Despite the end of grandparenting, the number of registered paramedics continues to grow, with more than 23,000 paramedics now registered.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

Along with the other National Boards, the Board provided guidance and support to practitioners to help them practise safely and professionally in relation to official health orders and the COVID environment. The Board continued to identify opportunities where regulatory approaches could be applied flexibly while ensuring the health and safety of the public. The Board acknowledges the superb work done by registered paramedics and paramedic students who carried out and supported a wide variety of frontline and other health workforce roles during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Standards, codes, guidelines and policies

The number of notifications continues to grow at a greater rate than the number of paramedics. The Board hopes that the revised Code of conduct will provide practitioners with enhanced clarity on their ethical and professional obligations, resulting in a reduction in the rate of notifications. The Board is committed to its role in ensuring public protection and will continue to take necessary and appropriate regulatory action when required.

Accreditation

Following an initial three years of establishing and starting the accreditation process for paramedicine programs of study, all positions on the inaugural Paramedicine Accreditation Committee were advertised for appointment for the next three-year term. After a very competitive expression of interest and selection process, the Board appointed two new members and reappointed six to the committee. Emeritus Professor Eileen Willis retired from the committee as the inaugural chair and the Board is grateful for her leadership and guidance during its first term.

The Board released the cross-profession
Supervised practice framework.

Other news

Inaugural member Ms Jeanette Barker also retired from the Board. Jeanette has been an exceptional contributor to the establishment and ongoing success of the Board and her contribution will be missed.

My personal thanks must go to the Board and committee members for their ongoing work and support; and the Board notes its gratitude for the support of key stakeholders in its work, including professional bodies, educators, employers and health departments.

Professor Stephen Gough ASM

 
 
Page reviewed 22/11/2022