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Doctors concerned over telephone triage from out-of-practice nurses

Concerns over out-of-practice nurses staffing NHS 24 have been raised by Scottish doctors.

Dr Georgina Brown, who worked alongside nurses at the Scottish Flu Response Centre, told the British Medical Association Scotland (BMA) that she felt many lacked confidence because they had no recent experience of dealing with sick people, meaning that some patients were sent to doctors when no medical treatment was necessary.

Dr Brown, a GP from Springburn in Glasgow, said: “They are an extremely committed group of nursing staff but a lot of them had not seen a patient in years and I felt it was inappropriate.

“If they spent even half their time in practice and the other half doing NHS 24 that would be more appropriate. Telephone triage is very difficult.”

Doctors are expected to formally condemn the practice at the BMA’s Scottish Conference of Local Local Medical Committees in Clydebank on Thursday.

Brian Morton, professional officer for the Royal College of Nursing, said: “The staff of NHS 24 are highly qualified and have a wealth of experience in clinical assessment of patients, both face-to-face and over the phone.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • What do Dr's want? They opt out of out of hours care and now they are knocking the folk trying to help cover for their decision!

    In a perfect world folk wouldn't be ill from 5pm to 9am.

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  • and doctors.... who haven't updated for years....and still give oral Ventolin....????

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  • My daughter works in NHSdirect & has some horrrendous tales of inappropriate calls because Doctors have not dealt with a problem during surgery hours!!!!

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  • totally agree with coment 12 march 10.22.
    I have worked for nhs direct past year, (also do a few agency shifts to keep hands on). I used to have a great deal of respect for gps, but not any longer. instead of complianing, how about we all work together. after all our aim shouold be the same thing - health people!

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