The NHS across mid and south Essex is 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 is the Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) to support GPs to spend more time with patients who need them most – especially when demand is higher in the winter months.
The ANP can help people with range of minor health problems and undertake planned, reviews of patients with long term conditions such as diabetes. The aim is to optimise medication to manage problems and keep people as well as they can be and in their own home where possible.
They can also assist with any common minor health problem including things such as sore throat, ear ache, cold and flu, cough, chest infection, thrush, athlete’s foot, wounds, emergency contraception, conjunctivitis, infections, diarrhoea and vomiting, headaches, joint pain, musculoskeletal problems (back, hip and shoulder pain) and minor injuries.
The ANP can also prescribe medication for many conditions and see patients with undiagnosed medical conditions and make treatment decisions, including ordering necessary investigations. They may also refer patients to secondary care as well as undertake appropriate home visits.
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.