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Skype will be used by ambulance service

Ambulance

9:59am 17th July 2017

You could soon be using Skype to talk to paramedics in Buckinghamshire.

South Central Ambulance Service are trialing the scheme, which will use the app to assess conditions that aren't life threatening.

They say it'll make it easier than trying to diagnose things over the phone.

It said other ambulance trusts were also testing out the idea.

Many social media apps now offer video-calling services, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

A spokeswoman for SCAS said:

"SCAS is currently trialling the use of technology to provide face-to-face consultations over the telephone, as are other ambulance trusts.

"This was initially started at certain nursing homes who were frequent callers to our service. This enables both the patient and the trained clinician within the clinical co-ordination centre (where 999 calls are received) to see each other.

"This gives the clinician more information when they are assessing the patient as they can see the patient and view the injury severity, symptoms, etc.

"The patient can see the clinician which improves the experience of the assessment they receive.

"There are some injuries or conditions that are more challenging to assess over the phone with no visual aid and this trial provides increased patient safety during a telephone assessment."

Other revelations about the work of the ambulance service included that it operates a "no send" policy for its vehicles to the lowest-risk patients during times of peak demand.

SCAS said this was to allow them to prioritise those most at risk if resources are under strain.

During such times, there is also a taxi firm which works with the authority to provide an alternative mode of transport if no ambulances are available to rush people to hospital, it added.

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