Parish Nurse & GP Receptionists are well trained

There have been many views expressed about the lack of a Town-centre healthcare service with the move of all the GPs and Health Clinic services to the new Crouch Vale Medical Centre.

We are pleased to announce that at the instigation of SWF’s Methodists, the Town’s churches and this group have agreed in principle to collaborate to provide a non-invasive advice, guidance and support Parish Nurse to work in the centre of SWF. If all the planning and development goes smoothly this could be in place before the end of this year after all the necessary development and training steps have been completed. We’ll say more about this in the coming weeks after we’ve undertaken a more detailed planning meeting in mid-February. A Parish Nurse would work in conjunction with all the Town’s existing healthcare services.

In the meantime, in Focus of 24 January 2020, ‘Name withheld’ raised some more questions about the GP Practice Receptionists.

As this Group has explained on previous occasions, patient confidentiality can be observed and maintained in a number of ways. Paper and pen/pencil can be used or a request can be made to the receptionist to have a necessary conversation take place in a private place. All the receptionists will abide by patient confidentiality. Speaking quietly may be sufficient.

In this context ‘triage’ is as in its original and primary meaning, that is ‘to sort’ or arrange.

We can only reiterate that:

The first professionals in the GP Practice Team are the Care Navigators/Reception Team. “Care Navigators working in practice reception teams are specially trained to know about the care and services available to you at your surgery and in your area. While the name of this role may differ in your practice, they’ll listen and talk to you in confidence about your health problem, to understand your needs so they can book you an appointment with the right healthcare professional or service. They can help you:

  • Get seen as soon as possible
  • Know whether self-referral is available for certain services at your practice or in your area
  • Make appointments for new kinds of care or new services you may not be aware of
  • Access the appropriate healthcare professional.”

They also make sure you get the right length of time for your appointment.

The three SWF GP Practices at Crouch Vale Medical Centre use different approaches and people for the same thing. So in one surgery you might see a Practice Nurse, a Nurse Prescriber, a Specialist Nurse eg for Diabetes or Asthma, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, a Clinical Pharmacist or a GP for the same thing. The Receptionist will also have single and multiple appointment times available of different lengths for different services.

This is generic information. Information about individual Practices is on their own websites. You can also get help from the Patient Participation Group (PPG) for your individual Practice about the particular services and arrangements of your Practice and you can get their contact details from your Practice’s website or Receptionists.

Peter Blackman

Chair, SWF Health & Social Care Group