Registered Charity No. 1126752
Code of Conduct of HEMS Providers
Only by being exemplary in their conduct can HEMS crew members show excellence in practice. Member organisations undertake to ensure all their HEMS providers abide by a comprehensive code of conduct.
All health-care providers must be, at the very least: civil, courteous, professional, respectful, diligent, cooperative and competent. However pre-hospital carers are in the vanguard of a new speciality, and with this goes a duty to act over and above these basic attitudes. They have a responsibility to the patient, the public, their organisation and peers, themselves and other health-care providers. These are set out in a series of duties.
Duty to the Patient
The patient has the right to the best possible emergency care, and to give informed consent for that care. Implicit in this is their right to refuse care and withdraw their consent to care.
Where consent cannot be gained, the provider should act in the best interests of the patient as they see fit, and act as their advocate at all times.
The patient has the right to respect from the provider whatever their sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or the circumstances of the incident.
The patient has an absolute right to privacy. Medical information will be kept confidential and only passed to those with a right to know, and even then only with consent, whenever possible. At all times during treatment and transport the patient's dignity and safety are to be protected.
Duties to the public
The public have a right to not be harmed at any incident; the pre-hospital care provider has to ensure their safety
The public have a right to know that pre-hospital care is being provided in the best possible way. The public are informed by the media. HEMS providers have a duty to engage with them, and show a positive attitude to questioning; however at no point should patient specific details be discussed unless there is clear consent from the patient. At all times, the discussion must be about what the crew knows, they must not speculate on causes of the incident or future treatment of the patient.
Implicit in this duty is a requirement to ensure safe aircraft working and to actively engage in Crew Resource Management (CRM).
Duty to the Organisation
HEMS providers are the public face of the Organisation they serve, at all times on duty they should be tidy and wear uniforms if provided. They should have a strong devotion to public service, and the advancement of the physician paramedic partnership.
The Organisation has a right to be presented in a positive fashion by anyone representing them. Equally any duty undertaken by a HEMS crew member must be undertaken diligently, with care and in the time expected.
Members must not make statements that are incorrect, misleading or bring any organisation into disrepute.
Duty to Themselves
All HEMS crew members have a duty to practice within their competence, consulting where necessary. Equally they should not attempt to conceal the misconduct or bad practice of a colleague should it occur. They have a duty for personal on-going education and should strive for excellence. At all times they must act within a clear ethical framework.
Members should refuse to partake in any activity which might unduly influence their decision making -whether that is clinical, logistical or financial.
There is also a duty to remain physically fit for work, and to be honest in reporting illness – whether acute or chronic.
Duty to Peers and other Emergency Services
All members of the emergency services have a right to full respect from HEMS providers; they should be dealt with in an honest and truthful manner.
Peers within the pre-hospital and hospital spheres should be valued and their opinions actively sought.
Members must collaborate with other EMS providers to ensure quality provision and co- ordination of care.