History of Leadership through Education and Innovation in the Ambulance Service in Britain

Dr Alan Slater


Purpose: This paper tracks the hitherto poorly documented history of the ambulance service in Britain from early military history to the present day identifying the leaders who motivated change and through education and innovation provided significant developments in pre-hospital patient care.

Methodology: Desk research and interpretation of social and medical issues raised.

Findings: The ambulance service developed from an early military need through a period when monks offered care to the local population. Followed by philanthropists and local doctors adapting and funding practices developed elsewhere, to independent hospitals run by doctors offering inbound transport. Subsequently, political pressure forced local authorities to offer pre-hospital care and transportation to hospitals for the sick and injured. The war years saw a military concentration on pre-hospital care followed by the integration of the ambulance service into the newly formed National Health Service (NHS). The profession of the paramedic was formed, technical innovation in communication, transportation, and on-scene patient care encouraged standardization of service. The ambulance service is an integral part of the NHS providing essential pre-hospital medical care.

Originality: A description of the social history of the ambulance service in Britain defining the context, role of education in the motivation for leadership and innovation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eltls.v5n2p43


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