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Labour: Draft in ex-nurses to ease NHS burden

Labour would draft in former nurses to help ease the burden on accident and emergency departments, Ed Miliband has said.

GPs could also be installed in hospitals to cool pressure on the straining service, the Labour leader added.

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NHS: 111 referrals to A&E dropped despite rise in calls

The NHS has defended its non-emergency 111 helpline after criticism that its call handlers are sending too many patients to A&E.

NHS England said despite the helpline seeing a 40% increase in calls in the run-up to Christmas, referrals to A&E and ambulance services had fallen.

It said referrals to the ambulance services dropped from 11.3% to 9.7% while referrals to A&E fell from 7.6% to 5.7%.

NHS England added that during the last six months, fewer patients were referred through the helpline to A&E units over weekends than during the week, with 6.4% of calls referred compared with 8.6% between Monday and Friday.

Read more here: Too many 111 referrals to A&E 'a huge problem'

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