GP calls for rapid response

A GP has called for the establishment of a rapid response plan for rural communities in Marlborough.

Renwick Medical Centre GP Dr Buzz Burrell said a primary response in a medical emergency (Prime) was essential.

The response was needed in the areas between Blenheim and Nelson and Blenheim and St Arnaud to treat emergency patients at the scene within the critical golden hour.

"It is heartbreaking when you hear of a fatality in a car crash in Wairau Valley and there wasn't a primary responder there in time to do what they could," he said.

Dr Burrell hopes Renwick Medical Centre could provide a primary responder within two years.

While ambulances have to travel from Blenheim or Nelson in an emergency, he said the rapid responder could be at the scene of an incident within 15 minutes.

The responder, usually a doctor or a nurse attached to a GP surgery, is supplied with an emergency kit.

"It would be easy to establish within two years. It is not a case of if but when," he said.

The Marlborough Express