This often is the first port of call for a person's health needs and the scope of delivery is ever increasing, managing conditions and problems that would have in the past done by hospital services. This is particularly true in the current developments of more and more integrated structures blurring the boundaries between hospital care provision, GP practice work and voluntary sector supports. This results also in a variation of range of services delivered between surgeries.
It also may mean that a patient would be asked to see other professionals on occasions - rather their own GP- but usually under the direction of your GP.
There is a wide range of professionals working in a general practice:
These doctors are trained specialists knowing (quite) a bit about everything and often have an area of special interest.
They are in the best position to help people with a holistic overview of their care and problems, co-ordinating and organising their journey through their various issues and illnesses - ranging from dealing with minor illnesses to complex health, social and mental care needs.
These professionals are part of the GP team and provide extra help to manage complex long-term conditions, patients with multiple medicines and often are the first port of call for medication queries. They are also auditing and optimising the quality and safety of prescribing of a surgery.
The scope of their practice is increasing and often they can consult with patients directly including prescribing for the patient for a certain range of conditions.
Thanet Health CIC is involved in developing these roles and for more information click here.
In general practice these professionals support the clinicians performing ECGs and other investigative procedures, obtaining blood samples. They can do health checks and health promotion and may provide also wound care and ulcer management.
Their roles may vary widely depending on their placement (hospitals, nursing homes etc.) and usually work under the supervision of a nurse or other clinicians.
These nurses have often specialist knowledge in chronic disease, helping to optimise the care for patients, providing health education, and undertake a plethora of procedures like ulcer and wound care, ECGs, obtaining blood and swab samples. They are often involved with family planning and women's health, sexual health services, health screening and immunisations.
Nurses have been increasingly extending and expanding their scope of practice and many have now formal qualifications that allow them to independently manage minor illnesses and chronic diseases - including prescribing for those conditions. They often have specialist expertise but also are working in the community to help patients with complex health and social care needs.
They are essential for allowing surgeries to have a wide range of care provision.
Those are admin workers support the patients to obtain the prescriptions they may need and the surgery to process all the prescription request. They can give simple medication advice and work either under direct supervision of a pharmacist or doctor.
These professionals have widened their scope of practice to support the practice in assessing, examining and diagnosing illnesses and usually, considering their background, work in acute care which may be as part of the acute care team in a practice or a home visiting service. It is expected that they may attain prescribing training soon to widen their skill set further.
Physician Associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a variety of roles depending on where they are placed. They may take medical histories, perform examinations, analysing test results and diagnose conditions.
They usually work under direct supervision of a doctor.
Primary Care Visitors work very similar to the Health and Social Care Co-ordinators but are used in Thanet to support the multidisciplinary working as part of the integrated care iniatives, helping to optimise the care for patients with highly complex care needs.
These are professionals who help patients to make full use of the services the NHS, social care and mental health and voluntary organisations. They have a wealth of information at their disposal and help the patient to navigate through the necessary red tape to get the help they need. They work closely together with the surgery and all local support services.
These people work at the direct frontline and are often the first contact.
They help the patient to book appointments, can advise about simple test results and can offer simple health advice. They are now trained to ascertain details of the problem a patient may present with to help the surgery to make best use of the extended team and their skills. This is always done preserving the confidentiality of the person.
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