A new video advising people that a doctor isn't the only person who can give help or advice has been produced to help ease pressure on GPs.
PCNs are groups of local GP practices, working together to increase the number of services, and improve access to those services in their area. Most recently PCNs have been leading the way with GP led COVID-19 vaccination sites. Now, as people get used to the 'new normal' after the pandemic, patients are being reminded that GP surgeries have a range of different medical professionals to treat different conditions, better.
Reception staff across Milton Keynes Bedfordshire, and Luton have been specially trained in 'care navigation' to be able to confidentially ask the right questions, to make sure patients see the most appropriate member of staff.
GP receptionist, Gail Meakins,said: "Across the country, general practice and the community services are changing to make it easier for you to access a wider range of help closer to home.
"I’m part of the team who are here to help you get the right care, as quickly and as conveniently as possible.
"Care co-ordinators talk to patients to understand their condition and get them an appointment with the right healthcare professional.More and more, we are using online, phone and video for our assessments and consultations.
"You may prefer this as it means you can speak to a clinician from the comfort of your own home without needing to visit your GP practice. Of course, we will still offer you a face-to-face appointment if needed."
Physician Associate, Ross Nakanda, said: "I am trained and qualified to diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions; I can arrange tests and analyse the results, and I can perform physical examinations."
Nurses help with health checks and provide general health and wellbeing advice while healthcare assistants can dress wounds and remove stitches, give vaccinations or injections, and take blood samples or monitor blood pressure. Physiotherapists can also help with specialist advice and treatment for muscles and joints.
Each GP practice is different but many employ clinical pharmacist.
Viren Bhatia said: "If you take lots of medication for your long-term conditions, it’s important to regularly review your prescriptions to make sure they’re still right for you. Many clinical pharmacists like me can also prescribe medicines."
GP Dr Barhey, said: "The specialists each have their own skills and areas of expertise. If needed, I help diagnose and treat conditions, interpret results, prescribe medication and make referrals to other services or the hospital."
To view the video and for more information on accessing primary care, visit the NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG website: https://www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/your-health/accessing-your-local-healthcare/