GWENT’S Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has led a pilot scheme designed to help paramedics better decide whether or not a patient they are attending needs to go to hospital.

The Clinicians in Control project involves GPs working in ambulance control rooms to take calls from paramedics on the scene of emergency call-outs.

The aim is for the GP to advise the paramedic, based on the latter’s findings and the former’s medical knowledge, as to whether a trip to hospital is necessary, or whether the patient can be treated at home with back-up from their own doctor or community health services.

Estimates for unnecessary journeys to Accident and Emergency via ambulance range from 30-50 per cent of all emergency ambulance trips.

This contributes to pressure on crews on the road, and to A&E staff.

Details have yet to be published on the number of hospital journeys avoided during the pilot scheme.