The reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect is a mandated role of medical doctors, nurses, police and teachers in Victoria, Australia. This paper reports on a research study that sought to explicate how mandated professionals working in rural Victorian contexts identify a child/ren at risk and the decisions they make subsequently.
Aims The aim of the literature review was to identify new and emerging out of hospital emergency care roles and to describe their activity and impact. Background Demographic changes, increased demands for health services, altered working practices, and health system economic pressures have led to the development of a disparate set of new health care roles. Data sources MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases, and the two search engines Google and Google Scholar were searched for contemporary studies in the identified study area. Review methods All publications identified through the search were assessed for relevance. Those that discussed new roles were included (n = 34) and empirical studies (n = 14) analysed in detail. Results Emergency care and paramedic practitioner roles (ECP & PP) are having an impact on patient care, including an average 25% reduction in the conveyance rate to hospital, improved inter-professional working, immediacy of treatment and referral, and high patient satisfaction. Limited economic data suggests savings of between £31 (USD 55) and £37 (USD 65) per case when ECPs replace standard ambulance responders. Concerns have been expressed about patient safety, recruitment and training levels, regulatory and role implementation issues. Conclusion Further work is required to fully understand the patient safety, clinical practice, professional role and financial implications of these new roles.