It is one of 14 pilot… In two years, the scheme in Tameside, Greater Manchester has prevented 3,000 visits to A&E and freed up 2,000 GP appointments, health officials said. Instead of an ambulance being automatically dispatched, doctors and nurses can assess cases virtually, providing advice on the spot. Care home residents are being offered NHS consultations by Skype in a bid to cut needless hospital visits. The pilot scheme, which also means staff can get medical advice quickly, has been linked to a 30 per cent reduction in visits to Accident & Emergency departments. The on-call Skype NHS team takes calls from care home staff, wardens working in sheltered accomodation and community workers.