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GP pilots paramedic scheme

Dr Peter Smith hopes a new pilot scheme using paramedics for out-of-hours calls will reduce GP workload.

Dr Smith, a GP in Woking and member of Thamesdoc co-operative, helped train paramedic Graham Browning for his new role. Dr Smith said: 'The idea is to use paramedics where there is urgency and dialling 999 would be inappropriate but where there would also be genuine difficulty in the patient going to the primary care centre.'

Non-cardiac chest pain, acute back or abdominal pain and severe headaches are some of the cases the paramedic will treat. The co-op hopes to train nine paramedics and anticipates the scheme will reduce the need for home visits.

Surrey Ambulance trust believes the scheme will cut 999 calls.

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