Plans for paramedics to take on GP roles
Paramedics will be trained to do some procedures normally carried out by GPs, according to reports.
Routine appointments, out-of-hours services and prescriptions form part of a new-look paramedic role under proposals designed to deal with a shortage in family doctors, the Daily Mail said.
It said paramedics would train, part-time, for four months before being allowed to take on some of GPs' responsibilities, under plans drawn up by NHS England.
Health campaigners voiced concerns about the quality of care provided by the trained-up paramedics.
But NHS England said there were plenty of benefits for patients should the proposals get the green light.
Suzanne Rastrick, chief allied health professions officer at NHS England, said: " The NHS England consultation on proposals to introduce independent prescribing by paramedics across the United Kingdom launched in February, considers whether advanced level paramedics should be given rights to prescribe medicines to patients.
"It makes no proposals in relation to paramedics carrying out routine appointments.
"The potential benefit, subject to consultation, is that patients would be able to access the medicines they need in a timely manner, which means their treatment will be more effective.
"The evidence is due to be reviewed by the Commission on Human Medicines in October, we note that the BMA (British Medical Association) has submitted a formal response to the consultation which said that they believe the case put forward in the consultation is valid."