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Scottish nurses to assess patients to increase productivity

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Controversial proposals have been announced that will see patients in Scotland assessed by nurses instead of consultants in a bid to achieve targets for NHS waiting times.

Other measures to increase productivity in the NHS include many follow-up appointments being scrapped and a scheme that could see patients discharged from hospitals over the weekend.

The plans are aimed at meeting 18-week referral to treatment targets.

They will see specialist nurses and health professionals judge whether a patient needs specialist attention or just requires advice. Holyrood ministers hope the move will free up consultants’ time for other tasks.

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • Why controversial? Surely this is the whole point of Advanced Practitioners.

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  • Could you please post the link/source for this? It wasn't easily found on either SGHD or Scottish Government websites, & it doesn't make much sense without more detail.

    Patients are already discharged over the weekend where I work in Scotland (& I can't remember a time when they weren't, the only issue being those who need social care packages which only start Mon-Fri).

    Locally nurses already assess people for day surgery, at 'front doors' (general and MH), out of hours services & there are several nurse-led clinics, several of which do not require initial assessment by a Dr. So the 'news' must be in the detail.

    That said, how exactly do health boards intend to do this at the same time as cutting nurse staffing levels???

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  • The only thing I can find about this is on http://www.18weeks.scot.nhs.uk/ and as stated this is based on old news (3+ years) rather than new... so I am a bit baffled too! I have also searched the http://www.theyworkforyou.com website and although there have been recent debates about waiting times, I can see nothing specific to add to all mentioned in the first link that I gave, apart from the increased money shortages and reduction of trained nursing staff of course: neither of which is referred to in the above short article! So I too would like the source if anyone knows it, Thanx.

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