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Scots GPs set to sever links to NHS 24

A GP co-operative has threatened to cut its links with Scotland's NHS 24 unless the nurse helpline improves.

The co-op accused the service of generating extra work for its GPs, A&E departments and the ambulance service.

Moray Doctors on Call Service (Moraydocs) will sever links with NHS 24 ­ the Scottish equivalent of NHS Direct ­ next month unless the service stops giving inappropriate

advice.

On one occasion a GP was sent on a home visit to see a patient with anxiety. On another a nurse advised the family of a terminally ill patient who wanted advice on pain relief to call an ambulance.

Co-op board member Dr Donald Brown, a GP in Elgin, said: 'Ambulances are being sent to collect people who do not need ambulances, people are being sent to A&E and GPs are being sent on house calls when phone advice would have been sufficient. The general feeling is that we do not want NHS 24 ­ we want to get rid of it.'

Co-op chair Dr Janis Tait, a GP in Fochabers, Moray, said a mentoring and training programme for NHS 24 nurses would be set up.

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