In the latest evidence of the winter crisis engulfing the NHS nurses and GPs are sent to answer 999 calls ahead of ambulance crews. Health chiefs in the North East said that they may have to act as “first responders” for patients who have fallen in their own homes or residential homes and including intravenous morphine may even need to administer painkillers, if ambulances are delayed. Bosses said the scheme was necessary because of a immense increase in demand and was intended to prevent more “tragic” cases involving older patients with serious fractures and no pain relief. The senior doctors have said the move could affect patient safety.In County Durham an email from NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said the scheme was being introduced in response to “huge pressures” on the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) this winter.
Source: Independent, UK
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