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Cornish Nurses Could Lose Jobs

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7:01am 27th March 2012

Pirate FM has learnt some nurses working for Cornwall's out-of-hours service could lose their jobs.

Serco is consulting staff but insists a new system will mean better and quicker patient care.

It is moving to a new system to assess patients, already in use by the South West Ambulance service. It says NHS Pathways was developed by doctors, nurses and IT specialists.

However, the Royal College of Nursing fears it will mean staff without medical qualifications end up speaking to patients. Spokesperson Sue Matthews said, "They may simply be told to see their GP tomorrow. That might happen anyway but, in the meantime, a nurse may well say 'If you have a home remedy, a cough medicine or something, that may be helpful for you.' None-registered staff can't do that.

"Whilst it has been tested in various other places and it's definitely the modern way forward it is new to Cornwall and isn't something we would normally expect to see such a significant change to the personnel who are delivering on that system."

Karl Cole from Serco said that it had only been given the greenlight after a detailed clinical assessment undertaken by the Primary Care Trust. He said, "Pathway system has actually be developed to enhance the patient journey and ensure they are sent to the right place quicker than they normally would be.

There will still be nurses in the call centre at all times and there will still be doctors in the call centre at all times. There will be the same amount of doctors in the clinics and on the road visiting people at home."

7:01am 27th March 2012

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