Letter: All first-contact staff should undergo tests

Dear Editor 

I am in favour of a knowledge test. The public can have confidence that they are being seen by someone with at least basic knowledge. I would want to be pulled off the job when my advancing dementia is getting beyond a joke.

However where the plans go off the rails is that the same knowledge test is not going to be applied to all practitioners who are seeing punters 'fresh off the street'. I am referring here to ambulance first-contact practitioners and nurse practitioners in various guises in practices, minor injury units and A&E departments.

Surely they should achieve the same minimum standards? Or, to put it in the terms of the CMO, if you test airline pilots, you would not let the cabin crew fly aeroplanes without meeting at least the same standards.

Why is the CMO weaselling out here by devolving responsibility to the medical colleges? Is it just a political move dressed up in safety concerns?

Dr Hank Beerstecher, Sittingbourne, Kent.

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