Dr Gupteswar Patel, a member of the CaHRU team, presented two papers from the NIHR-funded Community First Responder project at the XX World Congress of Sociology in Melbourne, Australia, from 25 June to 01 July 2023. This quadrennial conference brought together academicians, experts, and researchers from around the world to discuss the topic of “Resurgent Authoritarianism: Sociology of New Entanglements in Religions, Politics, and Economics.” In addition to disseminating the project’s findings, Dr Patel’s presentations reinforced the symbiotic relationship between sociology and health disciplines.
Dr Patel presented two papers at the conference that illustrated crucial aspects of power dynamics in Community First Responder (CFR) provisions in conjunction with sociological factors. These papers explored the power relationships between CFRs, ambulance clinicians, and the ambulance services as state institutions, demonstrating the complexities of power dynamics and their implications for the delivery of prehospital care. These investigations also contributed to a greater understanding of the complexities of governance and emphasised the importance of sociological considerations in CFR provisions.
Sub-theme: Oppressors or Saviours? The Role of Professions in a Changing World
This oral presentation investigated the relationships between CFRs and ambulance clinicians in out-of-hospital emergency settings. This paper examined the role of professional power in establishing a hierarchy within the division of labour in out-of-hospital contexts where both volunteer CFRs and professional ambulance clinicians attended to patients and delivered prehospital care.
Sub-theme: COVID-19 Pandemic and Global Health Workforce Policies and Governance: Challenges and Issues at the Forefront.
This paper examined how ambulance services as state institutions modify the scope of practice for CFRs while protecting institutional interests amidst changing health system priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic. It examines the dynamics of decision-making, how health institutions adapt and respond to the evolving challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as the implications for CFRs.
The XX World Congress of Sociology, held in Melbourne, Australia, provided an interdisciplinary forum to highlight the research contributions to Health Sociology.