NEW posts have been created at Lancaster's A&E department to help speed up the assessment and treatment of patients.
In what the Trust running the hospitals calls a 'pioneering' move, it says it has become the first Trust in the North West to appoint two new 'physician associates'.
These are a new health professional roles and they work with the clinical team to provide quality healthcare.
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Roz Clegg has already joined the team in the emergency department at Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI), and the Trust says she will be joined in August by Harjer Khadim.
Physician associates obtain medical histories, conduct comprehensive physical exams, request and interpret tests, diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, and counsel on preventive health care.
While they are currently not allowed to prescribe, the trust says they provide a bridge between nurses and doctors and will help speed up the treatment of patients within the emergency department.
Dr Paul Grout, clinical director for acute medicine at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and an A and E consultant, said: “We’re delighted to be the first Trust in the North West to employ physician associates.
“Roz has already joined our team and her work has helped enormously the doctors and nurses in the emergency department.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Harjer and developing the role beyond the emergency department to ensure that all patients benefit from the high quality clinical care that their employment enables us to provide as an emergency team.
“We see this as a key part of our strategy to treat patients as quickly and safely as possible within the department.”