Blair has been speaking about 'personalised' services,

Other proposals include introducing more NHS “walk-in” centres, especially in places where there are not enough doctors”

Because, rather than employ doctors to provide primary health care, you can employ less skilled people for less money to provide a sub-standard service. How will this impact the ambulance service? Well if people want to see a doctor, they'll call us to take them to A&E because it's free and they think they'll get seen sooner.

That and we will be the ones providing the sub-standard care, because people will have the 'choice' to be treated at home by an ambulance Emergency Care Practitioner with a bit of extra training. ECPs are cheaper than doctors, especially when the Primary Care Trusts stop funding them and the ambulance service keeps running them anyway.

12 thoughts on “‘Choice’”

  1. Although this is exactly the sort of thing they are sent on, that and sorting out catheters, urine infections, 'chest infections', and minor wounds.Not really 'emergency' either, more like 'urgent' or, perhaps more tellingly, 'primary care'.

  2. How long before primary health “care” is provided by an old crone with her bag of newts eyes? Or, a flim-flam man with his bottle of snake oil?

  3. “less skilled people for less money to provide a sub-standard service”What, like the nurse who claimed I was a bit dehydrated and had a cold when I actually had a chest infection? So I didn't go to the doctor for another week (waiting for an appointment with one I trusted), and ended up very sick and needing two lots of antibiotics and time off work.

    Not really her fault: I generally don't develop obvious chest noises until I'm pretty bad, but I lost all faith in the walk-in centre thereafter.

  4. Absolutely spot on Tom. ECP's are just Doctors on the cheap. It terrifies me how much we are now expected to do, with limited training. If I wanted to be a doctor, I would have gone to medical school.I hope the public realise how many cutbacks are happening this way, with the dumbing down of traditional roles that were always performed by GP`s.

    If you are having an acute medical emergency or trauma related accident, we are second to none. If you have a week old chest infection that is not clearing up, I haven't got a clue. Thats why I take you to hospital to someone who does.

  5. Surely it should be clear from the name – Emergency Care Practitioner – that this is someone to take care of you in an emergency until you get to the hospital, resplendent with equipment and doctors and nurses and so on?I'm not sure I'll ever reach a stage where I can define tonsillitis, or a strange rash, or an ear infection, as an “emergency”, even though I'll want to see a doctor pretty quickly.

  6. If you want to see a picture of David Cameron at the Jnr Doctor's protest in London on Saturday please go to my blog. I think it may be the beginning of an NHS staff uprising and high time too.

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