Nurses speed up police health assessments

Primary care nurses employed to assess patients in police custody respond to calls faster and have similar consultation times to doctors, research shows.

Researchers from the University of Wolverhampton assessed 8,911 calls for medical assistance from police stations, half before and half after a custody nursing service was introduced.

All calls before the service was introduced were handled by forensic medical examiners (FMEs) – specially trained GPs. The average response time in this period was 51.3 minutes.

After the service was introduced, FME response times fell to 42.7 minutes, while the average response time for nurses was 29.5 minutes.

FME consultations lasted around 30 minutes on average, compared to 34 minutes for nurses.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

Journal of Advanced Nursing
http://www.journalofadvancednursing.com/default.asp

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