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Care Navigation – to help patients get the right support, quickly

Across County Durham, all GP practices want to make sure their patients are seen quickly by the right healthcare professional for their problem.  We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly and sometimes may feel that the only person to help would be a GP.

Throughout June and July, our practice staff received specialist training developed by clinicians, to help them provide you with information about choices you have to see an appropriate person for your healthcare needs.  Sometimes a GP isn't the best person to see.  Within your GP practice for example a Practice Nurse (for matters including dressings, immunisations or ear syringes) may be better.  You could also be directed to a healthcare professional in the community such as a community pharmacist, optician or sexual health nurse.

When you contact your GP practice, the receptionists may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly.  They won’t try to diagnose your problem, but you may need to tell them a little about why you are calling.  Of course you do not have to, the choice is yours and you can always still request to see your GP, but you may be able to be seen faster by someone who is able to provide the right care for you using 'Care navigation' to help, without waiting to see a GP.

For further details please see the link below

Nurse Clinics

pills_for_girlThe nursing team provide skilled nursing care for our patients, whether physically or mentally ill, from babyhood to old age. The nurses work in the surgery on diagnostic and progress tests, including taking blood and carrying out electro-cardiograms as well as more conventional nursing duties such as dressing wounds, giving injections and syringing ears. They also regularly monitor our patients with chronic illnesses such as asthma, hypertension and heart disease.

They are involved in running a Smoking Cessation Clinic and a Weight Management Clinic and give advice on family planning. For those patients travelling abroad, there is a Travel Clinic for advice on vaccinations, hygiene etc. Judith also runs a clinic for patients with Diabetes, to ensure they are monitored regularly.

Their work is under the clinical direction of the Doctors but, in certain situations, patients can consult them directly without seeing the Doctor first – ask the Receptionist. 

Another aspect of their work is health promotion where they will see anyone aged 16 and over and give advice on smoking, alcohol levels, diet etc. They also assist the Doctors with minor surgery.

The Phlebotomist

One of the receptionists, Jill, has been trained to take blood samples. If the Doctor decides you need to have blood taken, you may be booked in with her. She will not, however, be able to answer any medical questions you may have.

This arrangement allows the nurses more time to develop other clinics for the benefit of our patients.

24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

If a GP has requested you to make an appointment to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor fitted, this will usually be fitted and removed by Hazel, one of the receptionists.  Hazel has been trained to fit and remove, however she will not be able to answer any clinical questions regarding your health or results.

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