Your Extended Healthcare Team
You don’t always have to see your GP if you have a health concern. There are a number of other healthcare professionals working within your GP practice who may be better placed to give you the medical care you need. You can find out a bit more about these different roles and how they can help you below.
When calling your GP practice, our receptionists may ask you a few details – but don’t worry, they are not being nosey, and your information is strictly confidential. They just need a bit more information to get you the right help, from the right person.
All of our healthcare professionals are experts in their field and we have a number of different roles working within practices across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
A variety of clinical staff with different areas of expertise are available at your GP practice.
Through a range of health, social care and other community services, our staff focus on keeping people well and independent; delivering the right care at home or in the community to prevent unnecessary hospital care.
These groups of staff bring together general practice, pharmacy, social work, physiotherapy, mental health, district nursing and health visiting. This enables the expertise and skills of different professionals to assess, plan and manage the care of patients
Extended healthcare teams allow GPs to utilise their time more effectively. By ensuring that patients see the most appropriate professional within the primary care setting, GPs can focus on those patients who most urgently require their care. Your practice reception team will help guide you to the most appropriate care as soon as possible when booking an appointment.
Here we have listed the roles now available in GP practices, which means you don’t always need to see a doctor.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners
Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) are highly qualified registered nurses.
- Seeing patients with any symptoms and completing independent examinations
- Managing the complete care of a patient
- Working at an advanced level within the healthcare team, depending on their area of expertise (this may be a clinical specialty or expertise in urgent care)
- Making high-level decisions and referring patients to specialists without the need to refer to a GP
- Assessing, diagnosing, treating and prescribing for patients with a range of health problems
General Practice Nurses
General Practice Nurses work in GP surgeries as part of the primary healthcare team.
- Carrying out examinations, investigatory and therapeutic procedures
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
- Minor and complex wound care including leg ulcers
- Providing travel health advice and vaccinations as well as child immunisations and advice
- Family planning and women’s health including cervical smears
- Men’s health screening
- Sexual health services
- Healthy lifestyle advice
Healthcare Assistants (HCAs)
Healthcare Assistants are trained to undertake specific clinical procedures.
- Taking blood pressure readings;
- New patient checks;
- Health promotion;
- NHS health checks
- Urine tests
- Weight and height recording
- Blood tests
- Certain immunisations and injections
- Ordering supplies
- Assisting with minor surgery procedures
- Sterilising equipment
- Wound care and assessment of leg circulation (Doppler test)
Clinical Pharmacists provide support to general practice staff with regards to prescriptions, prescribing and all medication management.
- Supporting the repeat prescription system
- Dealing with acute prescription requests and medication reviews with patients
- Assessing and treating patients directly, prescribing for common minor illnesses and chronic long-term conditions
Paramedic Practitioners, also referred to as Home Visiting Practitioners or Urgent Care Practitioners, work as part of the general practice team.
- Providing care without the need to consult a doctor
- Assessing patients and deciding what care is required without the need to refer to a GP
- Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients
- Referring or signposting patients with undiagnosed minor illness or injury
- Working in general practice and conducting home visits
A First Contact Physiotherapist at your GP practice are an expert in muscular and joint conditions. They will help you get moving again.
- Providing quick access to expert physiotherapist assessment, diagnosis, advice and treatment.
A social prescriber can help with any social need that’s affecting your wellbeing.
- Listening to what matters to you, and helping you find the support needed.
- Connecting you to local services, groups and activities, putting you back in control of your health and happiness.
Physician Associates work within GP practices to help patients keep on top of health concerns.
- diagnosing medical conditions
- performing examinations and tests if needed.