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Science
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 28 February
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 28 February 2006
Medical notes

Full programme transcript >>

Out of Hours
What do you do when your husband has chest pains or your child has a high temperature late at night? Do you call an ambulance, ring your GP or logon to NHS Direct? Dr Mark Porter explores the different Out of Hours medical services and how people are really using them.

GPs
Reporter Lesley Hilton spends an evening with the out of hours GPs in Leeds. She finds out how they decide whether to give advice over the phone, ask the patient to come to their centre or make a home visit. She discovers that they don't visit many of the patients at home, and that the doctors on call don't have access to the medical records of the people they are treating.

NHS Direct
It is seven years since NHS Direct was formed. Mark Porter visits an NHS Direct centre in Kent, and asks how this nurse-led service has transformed the way we get help for medical conditions. NHS Direct has two million patient "contacts" a month - via the telephone, website and interactive tv channel. Mark finds out what proportion of callers to the telephone service need an ambulance, see an out of hours doctor face-to-face or simply speak to a nurse advisor.

A&E
Dr Mark Porter discovers how we use the familiar accident and emergency departments of hospitals, by talking to a consultant in emergency medicine from Manchester Royal Infirmary.  Are too many of us going there for minor ailments that could wait till the next morning?

Next week: Hands - from fingers that won't straighten to the latest treatment on broken wrists. And what to do if painful pins and needles strike in the middle of the night. 

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