As many of you are aware the role of the nurse has changed significantly in recent years with them, following additional training, taking on many responsibilities which were formerly performed by doctors. This is for many reasons including many functions being more appropriately performed by nurses, maintaining access for patients, increased demand with limited resources and there not being enough doctors. This can be confusing for patients especially when they are directed to a nurse rather than a doctor.
Here at Lyme Bay we have embraced this approach as we believe it offers better access to the right person at the right time for our patients. Both our nurses have undertaken significant additional training which enables us to offer a broader range of nurse led services.
Sally is a former midwife and can offer a full range of Women’s Health Services including antenatal and postnatal support, family planning, menopausal advice and smears. In addition she can perform bladder scanning so can offer a full continence advice and support service She also has further training and expertise in management of longterm conditions including diabetes, asthma, COPD and hypertension. Minor illness training is a further area where she has extended skills so uses these to offer same day urgent access and Friday afternoon open access at the practice. She will also undertake some home visits.
A very significant change has been the ability of nurses to prescribe drugs. Sally has completed a specialist course which enables her to work as an Independent Prescriber. She is therefore permitted to prescribe any drugs within her wide area of competence. This includes antibiotics, painkillers, inhalers, blood pressure drugs, contraceptive pills etc.
Anita has many years training in Emergency Medicine and General Practice. She also can provide advice for long term conditions, women’s and children’s health including smears. Health checks, Carer support and coordination of palliative care in the practice. She will soon complete additional training in minor illness.
Services which will increasingly, but not exclusively, be provided by Anita include Blood test, immunisation, travel advice, blood pressure monitoring, wound dressing, smears, INR monitoring, B12, zoladex, prostap, well person checks, asthma reviews and continence assessments
As the nurses can provide these extended roles it enables the GP more time to deal with more complex conditions.
From May 2017 Sally and Anita will both be working at Lyme Bay on 5 days per week. This means that we will have increased appointments particularly later in the day thus offering better access for everybody.