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Jason Scott preparing case for emergency ‘frequent fliers’

Ambulance services across England develop programme to change behaviour of emergency ‘frequent fliers’

Ambulance “frequent fliers” who make several 999 calls a year are costing the NHS in England millions of pounds, with experts concerned that some patients develop an unhealthy pattern of dependent behaviour on the service.

Though most callers have genuine unmet medical needs – few are malicious or hoaxers – the scale of the problem becomes evident as hospital A&E departments get to grips with another winter of rising demands on services. Ambulance service leaders and local health commissioners are keen to focus increasingly tight budgets on patients at more imminent risk.

Jason Scott, a research associate at Newcastle University’s Institute of Health and Society, who previously chaired the frequent caller network, is preparing a case for NHS research into the issues. The number of people calling “to be a nuisance” was small and could be dealt with through the legal process, he said.

But work was needed to identify why others were frequently calling 999, said Scott. “The general agreement is that they are doing so because they have some form of perceived unmet health or social care need and the ambulance call is a fall-back position, the last resort,” he said.

Detailed research was needed on whether cutting the number of frequent 999 callers caused problems elsewhere. Scott said: “Do we simply pass costs on to another part of healthcare, which doesn’t really solve the problem? That would be just passing the buck to someone else.” 

Seaweed Offers Solution to Stem Cell Transport and Wound Treatment

Stem cells have been put into plasters and bandages to help heal wounds for the first time, thanks to a new technique developed by scientists at Newcastle University. 


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Immunology North East Seminar: A new role for B cells in inflammation

Speaker: Dr Dagman Scheel-Toellner, University of Birmingham

Immunology North East Seminar: A new role for B cells in inflammation

Speaker: Dr Dagman Scheel-Toellner, University of Birmingham

Venue: Room 2.22 Research Beehive

Date: 11th February 2016

Time: 16:00

Refreshments available from 15:30


All welcome 

IoN Research Talk: Excitement spilling over in sensory processing: a tale of astrocytes and neurones in the thalamus

Speaker: Professor Tom Salt

ICM Research Seminar

Speaker 1: Ashleigh McConnell

Speaker 2: Gabriel Cantanhede 

1: CXCR4, CXCR7 and CXCL12 Expression and Cell Signalling in Cutaneous Melanoma

Ashleigh will talk about he prognostic signficance and impact of the CXCR4-CXCR7-CXCL12 axis in primary cutaneous melanoma 


2: The role of class II Human Leukocyte Antigens in Chronic Kidney Transplant Rejection


Gabriel will talk about Antibody-mediated rejection is one of the major causes of chronic rejection. This is mediated by endothelial cell activation, a process of endothelium microvascular inflammation and leukocyte recruitment. Evidence pointing to the relevance of HLA class II antibody in graft rejection is abundant, but the role of antibody-endothelium interaction in the absence of complement has not been fully understood. This project seeks to identify signalling cascades activated by HLA class II antibodies and mechanisms mediating endothelial cell – leukocyte interaction



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