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Nurses may take patients on arrival

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A&E nurses could in future be called on to take over responsibility for patients from ambulance crews on arrival at hospital, says the Healthcare Commission.

This could speed up turn-around times, it said. There is ‘great variation’ in how quickly ambulances are back on the road after delivering patients.

The commission found that the proportion of journeys where ambulances were back on the road within the recommended 15 minutes from arrival varied from 95% to less than 10%.

The commission is examining the causes for delays and is looking at the role of A&E nurses and the point at which a patient is admitted to hospital care.

Jim Bethel, vice-chairperson of the RCN’s emergency care association, said: ‘Nurses may not always see it as their responsibility to take the patient immediately when they are in the care of the ambulance crew, and some A&E departments have used ambulances as a way of deferring the four-hour A&E waiting time target.’

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