Paramedicine Board of Australia - 2020/21 annual summary

2020/21 annual summary

Snapshot

  • 21,492 paramedics
    • Up 8.3% from 2019/20
    • 2.6% of all registered health practitioners
  • 1.7% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 46.1% female; 53.9% male

Age

Age: <25 = 11.2%, 25 to 34 = 37.4%, 35 to 44 = 21.2%, 45 to 54 = 19.0%, 55 to 64 = 10.1%, 65 to 74 = 1.1%, >75 = 0%

Regulating

Notifications

  • 167 notifications lodged with Ahpra
    • 215 registered paramedics Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data, had notifications made about them
    • 1.0% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: Employer 36.5%, Patient, relative or member of the public 18.0%, Other practitioner 18.0%, HCE 4.2%, Board’s own motion 1.8%, Other 21.6%

  • 23 immediate actions taken

  • 50 mandatory notifications received
    • 26 about professional standards

Most common types of complaints

Most common types of complaints: Clinical care 21.0%, Offence against other law 15.0%, Health impairment 10.8%, Breach of non-offence provision - National Law 7.8%, Behaviour 7.2%, Boundary violation 6.6%, Communication 4.8%, Other 26.9%

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 126 notifications closed, 7.9% conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted, 11.9% received a caution or reprimand, 5.6% retained by a health complaints entity, 74.6% no further action

Monitoring

  • 72 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 240 cases being monitored at 30 June:
    • 4 for conduct
    • 18 for health reasons
    • 12 for prohibited practitioner/student
    • 206 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

  • 18 criminal offence complaints made
    • 16 about title protection
    • 2 about practice protection
  • 21 were closed

Referred to an adjudication body

  • No matters decided by a tribunal
  • 1 matter decided by a panel
  • 1 appeal

A report from the Chair

Issues this year

The Paramedicine Board of Australia’s work to further implement the regulation of the profession continued into the 2020/21 year. As Chair I am fortunate to have had all of the inaugural members reappointed for another term by the Ministerial Council. This stability is important to ensure the Board’s ongoing work to oversee the completion of the grandparenting provision for entry into the profession and to finalise the implementation and consolidation of other key elements of paramedic regulation.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued into this year and the ongoing ability of Board members to be flexible and adapt to remote ways of working without interruption to the work of the Board has been a credit to their professionalism and commitment to their regulatory responsibilities.

The Board continued to find regulatory approaches that could be modified, provided public safety was not compromised. Where the Board was satisfied that the clinical governance arrangements and supervised practice protocols of an organisation are likely to meet the Board’s requirements and expectations, the Board agreed to pre-approve that organisation as an ‘authorised body’ for recency of practice purposes. This has the effect of reducing the burden of regulation on major employers, enabling workforce flexibility and streamlining case management.

New standards, code and guidelines

Two pieces of work critical to the implementation of the regulation of paramedics were completed and published this year. The Professional capabilities for paramedicine practitioners (the professional capabilities) and Standards for accreditation of paramedicine education programs (the accreditation standards) were both approved and came into effect on 1 June. The work done by the Paramedicine Accreditation Committee to develop, consult upon and submit the accreditation standards for approval was outstanding.

The professional capabilities identify the knowledge, skills and professional attributes needed to safely and competently practise as a paramedic in Australia, as well as complementing the accreditation standards that are used to support and guide the delivery of education and training programs for paramedics.

Other

On behalf of the Board, I thank everyone who has contributed to the regulation of paramedics during what was another difficult and challenging year for all of us. Board members, Ahpra, the profession, employers and government have all played a critical role in further developing the regulation of paramedicine as a health profession.

Professor Stephen Gough ASM

 
 
Page reviewed 7/06/2022