'Roving' paramedic service starts in Suffolk

A service which aims to reduce unnecessary admissions to Ipswich Hospital's emergency department is due to begin on Monday.

The roving emergency care practitioner scheme will see a paramedic work alongside ambulance teams.

NHS Suffolk said it would provide rapid care for conditions such as back pain, chest infections and urinary tract infections.

It expects 35 patients will use the service each week.

Nicola Brunning, NHS Suffolk's strategic commissioner said: "The paramedic with advanced primary care skills will provide specialist support during the busy winter months, when extra pressure is placed on health and social care services.

"The ambulance service will assess which patients are most suitable for the emergency care practitioner.

"Those who do need to be taken to the emergency department will be taken there without delay as normal.

"If they do not need emergency transport then some patients will be seen by the advanced paramedic who will respond rapidly and assess and treat as is needed.

"For the many people who do not need to be taken to the emergency department, this will mean faster and a more appropriate form of treatment and save them an unnecessary hospital visit."

The service will run for three months on a daily basis, from 08:00 GMT to midnight.

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