For many things, other professionals are better and quicker at helping you than your GP…

healthcare professionals

COVID-19

For all Covid 19 queries please go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ / https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call NHS 111

gov.uk

Information on Health Conditions

Lots of good advice on health conditions can be found quickly and easily at www.patient.co.uk and www.nhs.uk

nhs website

Pharmacy

Some common conditions that people seek GP appointments for will get better within a short time or can be treated with over-the-counter medicines from a pharmacy. 
For a wide range of minor ailments, your local pharmacist should be your first point-of-call because: 

  • You don’t need an appointment 

  • There are no waiting times 

  • You will see a clinician with expertise in minor ailments and their treatment 

  • You can have privacy if you would like it 

  • You can leave with appropriate treatment or therapy and guidance on how to use it

Pharmacists are medical experts and are able to offer advice and over-the-counter treatments for minor ailments like aches and pains, coughs and colds, infections and viruses, allergies, minor injuries, skin conditions and more, saving a visit to the doctor’s surgery.

Social HelpSocial work help, advice on benefits, care at home and carer support call the social care hub on 01905 844356

Podiatry

Access to NHS podiatry for most is limited, you should make your own enquiries for local providers. Age UK also provide podiatry (for a fee) via https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in-you-area/foot-care/ 

Podiatrists specialise in the foot, ankle and leg, leading the patient care through the whole journey including prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Podiatrists work in a variety of places and can work with a team of people including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

A Podiatrist’s primary aim is to improve the mobility, independence and quality of life for their patients.

Podiatrists working in primary care can support patients with a wide range of conditions including Diabetes and Rheumatology as well as wound care. 

OpticiansFor urgent and minor eye conditions please use the urgent eye care service. See www.primaryeyecare.co.uk. Opticians can help you with: ➜Dry, red, sore, watery, sticky, itchy eyes. ➜Cysts, styes and conjunctivitis ➜Some opticians also offer ear syringing services

Dental Access Centres

Patients with an urgent dental problem and without a regular dentist can obtain advice and, where necessary, an emergency appointment by contacting the Dental Advice Line on 0300 123 0981.

Hospital appointmentsFor any queries about your hospital appointment you should first contact your hospital. The number for Worcester Royal is 01905 763333, Alexandra Redditch is 01527 503030 and Kidderminster Hospital is 01562 823424 ➜ For hospital transport contact 0300 0110017

Sexual Health

Free and confidential services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are available. 

➜ Community sexual health services in Worcestershire are designed to improve access to key treatments including emergency hormonal contraception and treatment for chlamydia infection.

Worcester Integrated Sexual Health Services (WISH) can be accessed through Worcester 01905 681645, or see www.knowyourstuff.nhs.uk

 For more information on the services available in your area visit  Sexual Health – know your stuff? (Worcestershire)

Walk-in clinics are not operating during the coronavirus pandemic and only patients with no symptoms who require urgent/emergency treatment will be seen face to face.

Drug & Alcohol

➜ You can self refer for help via https://www.cranstoun.org/services/substance-misuse/ 

Pharmacies provide help, support and sign-posting for patients to reduce the risk of harm from substance misuse. Pharmacies may supervise the consumption of medicines or provide items such as needles/sharps bins, as well as sexual health advice.

Physiotherapy

➜For physiotherapy please self refer on https://www.hcw.nhs.uk/movetoimprove/ ➜For joint or muscle self care advice see NHS Choices on www.nhs.uk

Muscle and joint conditions, also known as musculoskeletal, are estimated to account for 20 – 30% of GP consultations. Research shows physiotherapists are the most expert professional group regarding musculoskeletal issues with the exception of orthopaedic consultants. They have the same high safety record as GPs and are trained to spot and act on ‘red flags’.

Physiotherapists working in general practice provide patients with expert diagnosis and treatment for these types of conditions and can prevent the need for referral to hospital. By bringing physiotherapists into general practice, this puts physiotherapy expertise at the start of the patient’s journey; at the place they are most likely to seek help first. These physiotherapists can free up GP time by arranging swift access to a specialist where necessary and offer direct treatments.

Some physiotherapists, who hold advanced level training (advanced care practitioners) can manage complex conditions, arrange tests such as scans, diagnose problems, and work out a management and treatment plan such as joint injections that would previously have been organised by a GP.

Health Visitors➜Children’s problems including: breast and formula feeding, sleeping, minor illness and immunisation queries.

Well being support

➜Wellbeing self help, counselling and talking therapies can all be accessed through the healthy minds website on https://www.healthminds.whct.nhs.uk/home 

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust now provide mental health services for the people of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. There are a number of mental health support organisations and services available, visit Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Now We’re Talking page for more information.

As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds, more and more people find the challenges ahead unmanageable due to their individual circumstances.  We have compiled a list of resources below to charities and support organisations to help you cope with these challenges.

NSPCC (Child Abuse) 

Mind (Mental Health)

Cruse (Bereavement)

Wearehourglass (Elder Abuse)

Samaritans (Crisis Aid and Suicide)

Refuge (Women’s Shelter)

Victim Support (Rape Help)

NCDV (Domestic Violence)

Childline (Children’s Wellbeing)

Women’s Aid (Domestic Violence)

Men’s Advice Line (Domestic Abuse)

Young Minds (Mental Health)

Covid-19 Bereavement Support

Social Prescribers and Life Style Advisors

➜ Wellbeing support ➜ Mental wellbeing ➜ Loneliness and isolation ➜ Healthy weight ➜ Reducing alcohol ➜ Becoming physically active

Self refer though www.onside-advocacy.org.uk , www.worcestershire.nhs.uk/SP or call 01905 27525

Social prescribing involves helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and welfare by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. For example, signposting people who have been diagnosed with dementia to local dementia support groups.

In general practice, social prescribers can take the time to talk about what matters to patients and support them to find suitable activities that are a better alternative to medication. They connect people to community groups and services for practical and emotional support.

General Practices Nurses

Nurses working in General Practice are undertaking an ever-wider range of roles, with experienced nurses assuming more of the traditional workload of GPs. GPNs provide care and treatment for people from birth to end of life. General practice nurses work with their GP colleagues, other health professionals and practice staff as part of the extended primary care team.

Practice nurses are qualified nurses and will be involved in almost every aspect of patient care and treatment. They will look after patients with long-term diseases such as asthma and diabetes, offer health screening, as well as holding specialised clinics such as travel immunisations, baby immunisations, wound care, and women’s health for smear tests and contraception advice.

GPNs are leading the way in improving the health and wellbeing of patients. Evidence shows these teams are saving lives through improving health and fitness, reducing obesity and decreasing rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Health Care Assistants (HCAs)

Health care assistants (HCAs) are becoming increasingly important and prominent members of the general practice team. Many more practices are employing them to take on routine tasks that were previously undertaken by practice nurses.

Appropriately trained HCAs can administer vaccines to patients in certain circumstances, and are a valuable part of the team, especially for example during the annual flu vaccination campaign. Practices employing HCAs can bring benefits both to patients and to the practice workflow. These include more effective use of GPs' and nurses' skills and time, a reduction in waiting times, increased access to appointments, and increased continuity of care.

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