DID YOU KNOW YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO SEE A GP??
See what other services are available in your area by clicking the link below:
Stay Well This Winter
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for young children, people aged 65 or over, and people with long-term conditions.
We want to help protect you and those you care for.
Winter health advice
Cold weather doesn’t have to go hand in hand with illness. Here are some simple things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.
- Keep warm – this may help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
- Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
- Get a flu jab – flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
Common winter illnesses
- Colds – to ease the symptoms of a cold, drink plenty of fluids and try to rest. Steam inhalation and vapour rubs can also help. Prevent colds from spreading by washing your hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces regularly and always sneeze and cough into tissues, throwing them away after use.
Find out more about treating colds
- Sore throats – a sore throat is almost always caused by a viral infection, such as a cold. Try not to eat or drink anything that’s too hot, as this could further irritate your throat; cool or warm drinks and cool, soft foods should go down easier.
Find out more about treating sore throats
- Asthma – a range of weather-related triggers can set off asthma symptoms, including cold air. Covering your nose and mouth with a warm scarf when you’re out can help.
Find out more about treating asthma
- Norovirus – this is also known as the winter vomiting bug, although it can cause diarrhoea too. The main thing to do to is drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can also take paracetamol for any aches, pains or fever.
Find out more about treating norovirus
- Flu – if you’re 65 or over, have a long-term health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease, flu can be life-threatening, so it’s important to seek help early. However, if you’re generally fit and healthy, the best treatment is to rest, stay warm and drink plenty of water.
Find out more about treating flu
If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.
Find your nearest services on NHS Choices including your nearest urgent care options.
Ask your pharmacist
Pharmacists are expert in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.
WHAT IS AN ADVANCED NURSE PRACTITIONER?
Our Advanced Nurse Practitioners are qualified to see and treat any on-the-day problems.
Currently, the only exclusions are mental health problems, pregnant ladies and children under 2 years.
The Royal College of Nursing defines ANPs as being qualified to do the following:
- making professionally autonomous decisions, for which they are accountable
- receiving patients with undiagnosed problems and making an assessment of their health care needs, based on highly-developed nursing knowledge and skills, including skills not usually exercised by nurses, such as physical examination
- screening patients for disease risk factors and early signs of illness
- making differential diagnoses using decision-making and problem-solving skills
- developing with the patient an ongoing nursing care plan for health,with an emphasis on health education and preventative measures
- ordering necessary investigations, and providing treatment and care both individually, as part of a team, and through referral to other agencies
- having a supportive role in helping people to manage and live with illness
- having the authority to admit or discharge patients from their caseload, and refer patients to other healthcare providers as appropriate
- working collaboratively with other health care professionals and disciplines
WHAT IS AN ADVANCED NURSE PRACTITIONER?
The expertise of the ANP in primary care lies in their ability to operate as a‘generalist’. The ANP provides complete episodes of care for patients of any age and with a wide variety and range of presenting problems and health care needs. This encompasses the provision of evidence based, high-quality care for patients whose issues fall within: urgent/acute episodes, long-term/chronic conditions, health promotion and public health.
Research into the safety and effectiveness of ANPs has provided overwhelmingly positive conclusions regarding the value of the role and the patient satisfaction that arises from ANP care (Horrocks et al., 2002; Laurant et al., 2005).
ANPs operating in primary care have a wide range of skills, a broad knowledge base, and the ability to deliver specific aspects of care. At times these will need to be supplemented by the skills of specialist health care professionals in both primary and secondary care, and include use of a range of diagnostic and screening services. ANPs act collaboratively with colleagues working in the same area of practice, or refer to and share care with, colleagues in more specialist areas of practice.
The patient has the opportunity to consult with either a general practitioner (GP), ANP or both. An ANP who becomes the primary care provider may work with the patient to determine a plan of care, and may deliver a large proportion of that care themselves, or in partnership with medical colleagues and other members of the health and social care team. Some ANPs may also have the necessary skills to enable them to work with patients requiring specialist care. For instance, ANPs are able to provide services for patients with depression, rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure, and so forth. In these instances it is the ability to apply the broad foundation of advanced level knowledge and skills described above which makes them an ANP.
So next time you need an appointment and struggle to get in with a GP... Try our ANP and let us have your feedback.