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A&E ambulance? Try surgery first

Emergency ambulances are taking patients who dial 999 to Dr John Talbot's practice under a scheme to cut A&E waits. Patients in north-east Oxford who call an ambulance but are not ill enough for A&E are ferried to their registered GP's surgery for a consultation.

Under the PCT-wide scheme, attending paramedics call the patient's practice in advance and ­ if the GPs agrees ­ the patient is brought in. Paramedics must stay until a GP agrees the patient is suitable for treatment and, if appropriate, take the patient home.

Dr Talbot, a GP in Bicester, said: 'We made it quite clear we didn't want them to dump patients and clear off. We are not going to be stitching major wounds, and fractures should go to hospital.'

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