NHS Castle Point and Rochford and NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are helping local GP practices meet the demand of services to ensure patients get the right care this Winter.
One of the clinical roles introduced in GP practices across Castle Point, Rochford and Southend is that of Paramedic to support GPs to spend more time with patients who need them most – especially when demand is higher in the Winter months.
It’s important we ensure patients get access to the right healthcare at the right time and a wide range of services locally. Sometimes this will be an appointment with a GP, but depending on your needs, seeing another healthcare professional could be more appropriate and may enable you to be seen more quickly. Throughout Castle Point and Rochford and Southend we have a number of roles already in place to deliver the new ways of working to free up GPs to spend more time with patients who need them most.
Paramedics can work as part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to help practices manage their workload, improve the skill mix and make more efficient use of the workforce available. The paramedics can undertake home visits autonomously, saving significant amount of travel time for the GP - around 30 minutes per visit, freeing up more appointments in the GP practice to treat more patients. Having a Paramedic in the GP practice can help reduce stress levels for GPs and have a positive effect on recruitment and retention.
Kevin Regan is based at Queensway surgery, Southend, and is the home visiting clinician for eight surgeries across the locality. He works alongside an advanced nurse practitioner visiting elderly, housebound and acutely unwell patients within the community.
Kevin said: “The addition of paramedics, and other allied health care professionals, into the primary care setting is an exciting development. We bring with us a wealth of clinical experience that, when combined with primary care training, can make a significant impact on patient care. The time saved allows the GPs to spend more time within their surgery seeing more patients and managing more complex conditions. All of the staff and patients encountered so far have welcomed the service and recognise its benefits. I look forward to my continued work within the community and development of further paramedics to allow the service to grow and reach more patients.”
Expertise is also available at the local pharmacy. If there are minor health issues that can be treated with an over the counter remedy such as head lice, colds, nappy rash and mild pain, please do see the local pharmacist.
Pharmacists are experts in medicine and together with their practical knowledge can give you advice to save you a trip to the surgery and advise you if you need to see a GP.