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.”