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Twelve Days of Christmas Care – on the fourth day, sharing the value of practice nurses

As part of its Twelve Days of Christmas Care campaign, Mid Essex CCG is looking at how practice nurses make a difference to your health services.

Twelve days of Christmas care

Practice nurses work in GP surgeries alongside GPs and other clinicians such as pharmacists and dieticians.

These healthcare professionals provide “primary care” – often the first point of contact for people when they are unwell. A practice nurse supports this work in part by identifying underlying health care issues patients might not yet even be aware of. This helps people avoid emergency treatment they might otherwise have needed if the issue had developed into something much more serious.

karen randallKaren Randall, Primary Care Matron at the Dengie Medical Partnership, which services Tillingham and Maylandsea, said: “We primary care nurses encounter a wide range of medical problems every day. We also get to know our patients really well and often interact with the same people on a regular basis, getting to know their families and medical history quite well.

“Through just a friendly chat, we can pick up on those little signs that something else could be wrong.”

Practice nurses are a link between the local hospital and community care. If Broomfield Hospital needs to discharge a patient quickly, practice nurses in mid Essex can help the process and ensure the correct information is available. They can also help a patient to stay independent at home and avoid going back into hospital by ensuring a good network of care is in place.

As fully trained clinical staff, practice nurses support GPs directly, too, by assessing whether a patient needs to see a GP or their condition is something a nurse can advise on. This is one way of keeping appointments with GPs free for those who really need them and helps patients to receive the best care for their needs.