During the current pandemic, JRCALC has suspended much of its normal work to enable members to focus on providing expert clinical care.
JRCALC remains available to support NASMeD in providing expert advice to ambulance services. NHS ambulance services continue to monitor guidance and advice issued by NHS England, NICE and Public Health England to supplement existing JRCALC guidance.
The Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) first met in April 1989 at The Royal College of Physicians in London. The purpose of the committee was to provide robust clinical oversight and expert clinical advice to UK Ambulance Services. It soon established itself as a leading authority on pre-hospital care and has gained a worldwide reputation.
JRCALC is best known for the production of clinical guidelines for pre-hospital care, often referred to as just the ‘JRCALC guidelines’. There have been a number of editions of the guidelines since inception and the 2006 version was superseded in 2013 and 2016, and most recently in 2019 with the current edition.
Following the restructuring of the 40 or so county based English Ambulance Services into 10 Regional Trusts and Foundation Trusts, each Ambulance Trust now has a full time medical director at board level. Consequently the need for clinical oversight of Ambulance Services has diminished but the JRCALC committee remains an essential resource of expert clinical knowledge.
Working closely alongside the National Ambulance Service Medical Directors (NASMeD) who represent all UK Ambulance Services, JRCALC effectively fulfils the liaison role of its title.
The main JRCALC Committee has representatives nominated by their respective specialties/Colleges. It meets three times a year at the Royal College of Anaesthetists in London and until recently participated in an annual conference each autumn. The JRCALC administrative base is now provided by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) offices in London.
In 2013, the intellectual property rights of the clinical guidelines were novated from the Ambulance Service Association (ASA) to AACE who now act to protect the copyright of the clinical guidelines. The guidelines are available to purchase via the AACE website and can be obtained in both electronic and print formats. At present, JRCALC are unable to host free access to the guidelines. This is because there is no longer any contribution from central government to JRCALC’s funding however royalties from the publishing of guidelines are used to help support the functioning of JRCALC and the development of future guidance.
Going forward the guidelines continue to be produced by JRCALC on behalf of NASMeD by guideline development sub-groups. Each sub-group is made up of a multi professional team with expert subject knowledge and pre-hospital experience and will be chaired by a member of the JRCALC committee.
If you are interested in joining a development sub-group, details can be found in the guidelines section of the website.