NHS column: Improving access to our GP services is really important for us all
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The way that the NHS delivers primary care is evolving and while your GP will always play an essential role in your healthcare, GPs also now have a team of healthcare professionals to call upon, to help provide the right care when you need it.
General practice teams are expanding, with a range of healthcare professionals in different disciplines – some working in the practice and others in the community - who are now able to help you, in addition to your GP.
Many general practice teams can now include nurses, physiotherapists, clinical pharmacists, mental health practitioners, paramedics, social prescribers, as well as health and wellbeing coaches and other specialists.
This is now helping us to ensure that more patients are seen by the right person straight away.
If you need to see a GP you will be offered an appointment, but by increasing the number and variety of other health professionals available, you can receive expert care for your condition as quickly as possible.
With more specialist services available, the role of our busy reception teams in directing you to the right service is even more important.
Reception teams are being specially trained as care navigators, so they can use the information you provide and link you up with the healthcare professional or local service that is best placed to help you.
It means that when you call to book an appointment you may be asked a series of questions.
Please provide as much detail as you can so that the team can ensure that you are able to get the correct care you need.
Any information that you discuss with the reception team will remain confidential.
In addition to GP practices, many of our local pharmacies are also increasing the breadth of services and treatments available and don’t forget, the NHS 111 service is available online and by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.