You don't have to see a GP...
At Highbridge Medical Centre we are aware that patients have had difficulties in getting an appointment, and we know that you worry about accessing medical care.
This has mostly been due to lack of doctors, with established GPs leaving and difficulties in recruiting new doctors. This is a problem nationally and especially in Somerset.
To address this problem, one of the many changes being put into place during the process of integration with Symphony Healthcare Services, is an increase in the range of healthcare practitioners available to patients.
GPs are highly trained and their time is most effectively used in seeing complex and difficult problems. There are other healthcare practitioners who can safely take care of minor ailments and a whole range of other conditions.
The following healthcare practitioners are now available at Highbridge Medical Centre:
Three regular doctors at Highbridge, as well as locums who are all highly trained and experienced. Doctors can diagnose illnesses and have a range of expertise best suited to dealing with complex on-going problems, including frail elderly patients with multiple long term conditions.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP)
ANPs are highly trained and can prescribe medication for a whole range of simple infections and other conditions. Our ANP is available on Mondays and Thursdays. They cannot help with gynaecology or mental health issues.
Emergency Care Practitioners (ECP)
There is an increasing trend for paramedics to extend their training and change their role to work in primary care. We have a full time ECP, with a second ECP starting work very soon. They will undertake many of the home visits, urgent care assessments and will also see patients in the surgery with minor ailments and musculoskeletal problems.
Our pharmacist works almost full time in the practice. She is able to help with the care of patients with cardiovascular disease and hypertension (high blood pressure) and can also deal with medication queries, medication reviews. She can also see patients including children with minor illnesses.
Mental Health Practitioner (MHP)
We very much hope to have an MHP working at Highbridge Medical Centre in the very near future. They will be able to see patients with mild to moderate mental and emotional health problems, eg depression and anxiety.
Village Agent/Social Services Worker
This combined service will be available from February, and will provide patients with help regarding housing and benefits problems, all aspects of social and home care, as well as medical equipment and general signposting around the health and social care system.
We have an excellent and recently expanded nursing team at Highbridge Medical Centre. The treatment room nurses undertake a range of duties including complex dressings, ECGs, injections and also chronic disease management including asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension and family planning.
Health Care Assistants (HCA)
Our recently expanded health care team can undertake simple dressings, blood tests, blood pressure checks*, urine testing and assisting with minor operations.
*Remember that it may be more convenient for you to use the self-check blood pressure machine located in the waiting room. The machine is very easy to use, follow the on screen instructions to the end and this will automatically upload into your records.