Volunteer calls to over-75s 'could help NHS'.
VOLUNTEERS could help address the NHS crisis by ringing through GP lists of over-75s and making sure they are okay, a Labour MP has said.
Siobhain McDonagh said volunteers could also use these calls to urge older people to visit their GP as soon as they feel unwell, rather than waiting until they need to be admitted to A&E.
Her suggestion in the Commons came after Tory backbencher Caroline Johnson challenged Labour MPs to come up with ideas to improve the health service.
"I do come here with some suggestions," said Ms McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden). "My suggestions are, we know that it's the over-75s who are mainly going to A&E. We know that they are more unwell than they used to be. Why don't we get volunteers with medical experience to phone through every GP list and make sure the over-75s are okay, and urge them to turn up at their GP as soon as they become unwell, and not to wait until they get to a state when they need intravenous drugs and need to go to A&E."
Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Dr Johnson, who worked in the NHS over the winter, said: "I thank her for that intervention, but I feel that you may be mistaken on that. Because actually, the people most likely to attend A&E are the under-19-year-olds.