New NHS video produced to take pressure off GP surgeries in Luton

A doctor is not the only person you can see is the message from Luton's Primary Care Network

By Reporter
Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 1:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 1:53 pm

A new video advising people that a doctor is not the only person who can give help or advice has been produced to help ease pressure on GPs in Luton.

Staff at the Medics Primary Care Network (PCN) in Luton have worked with NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group to produce the video.

PCNs are groups of local GP practices, working together to increase the number of services, and improve access to those services in their area.

The image has been used for illustrative purposes

Most recently PCNs have been leading the way with GP led COVID-19 vaccination sites.

Now, as we get used to the 'new normal' after the pandemic, people are being reminded that GP surgeries have a range of different medical professionals to treat different conditions, better.

Gail Meakins, a receptionist at Woodlands Avenue Practice, in Luton, 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 like Gabriele Silyte talk to patients to understand their condition and get them an appointment with the right healthcare professional.

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 now have clinical pharmacists like Viren Bhatia: "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."

Dr Barhey is a GP at Woodlands Avenue Practice, he 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."

Reception staff across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes 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.

For more information on accessing primary care, visit the NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG website.