Local GP practices are working together to offer patients improved access to primary care appointments in north east Essex. This means that there is the opportunity to see a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, or other health professional as appropriate at a broader range of convenient times.
This includes in the evenings or at the weekend, with a range of slots available. Please note that these may not be at your usual GP practice, and you may be seen by an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or other health professional.
There's now also a wider range of ways you can get advice from a GP or practice nurse, including over the telephone and online. Contact your GP practice team to find out more or to arrange an appointment.
Advanced practitioners are educated at masters level in advanced practice and are assessed as competent in practice, using expert knowledge and skills. They have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients. ~ Royal College of Nursing
Advanced Nurse Practitioners are highly skilled and experienced nurses. Denice Darren and Stacy Bloomfield-Luck are just two of the 521 Advanced Nurse Practitioners working in north east Essex. Here's a little bit about what their roles involve.
“I visit many elderly people who are living in care homes in the Harwich area to assess their health needs and offer support. I also work with adults 18 and above with long- term and complex conditions in their own homes, co-ordinating care and directing the patient to the appropriate resources to keep them at home and out of hospital. I can prescribe a variety of medications and if necessary, I will contact the GP surgery for further help.
“I see a variety of illnesses, with some of the most common being urinary tract infections (UTIs), chest infections, and infected wounds. I also support with patients’ palliative care, particularly when there is extra medication required at the weekend or on a Bank Holiday. I work closely with the GP and the Palliative Care Specialist Nurse from the local hospice.
“I have been in this role for three and a half years, and I was a community matron before – the title has simply changed. Prior to this, I was a district nurse in Romford. I enjoy that the role is autonomous and it has been a fantastic career development opportunity. It’s very satisfying to see good outcomes such as giving our end of life patients more time at home with their families, rather than needing to go into hospital.
“I work normal hours in the week and myself or a colleague are also on call at the weekend. We are attached to GP surgeries and 111 also refer to us.
“If you would like to, you can have a family member, friend or carer with you during your appointment and we’re always on hand to support you with any worries about your health.”
“My role involves case management, patient assessment, admission avoidance, and assessing people in crisis. For those who have had hospital treatment, I help to support them in their own home after discharge. “I often see people with chronic conditions; such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart failure, and those who are experiencing social issues. I also give palliative care to patients who are nearing the end of their lives. Being an ANP is varied; most days are different, seeing different people.
“I have been an ANP for a year and was previously a sister in the A&E Department at Colchester Hospital. Being an ANP is rewarding, varied and challenging.
“We are based in geographical areas, attached to GP surgeries, and 111 also refer to us. We work from Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm, and an ANP is on call across Colchester and Tendring at the weekends too.
“If you have an appointment coming up with an ANP, we’re always happy to try to answer any questions you may have about your health. Many patients find it helps to come along with their questions written down so that they are easy to refer to during the appointment. Our team of experienced health professionals can help with queries such as about your symptoms or medication. If you would like to, you are very welcome to have a relative, friend or carer with you.”
1. Figure correct as of March 2019« Back
Tell us about who you are so we can make our website easier to use...