Nurse Practitioners Giving Patients More Choice in Health Care despite Lack of a GP; in Association with the NHS A Recent Campaign Has Been Set Up to Bring a GP Surgery to Lemington in Newcastle. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Takes a Look at the Health Services Already on Offer in the Area

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), April 28, 2008 | Go to article overview

Nurse Practitioners Giving Patients More Choice in Health Care despite Lack of a GP; in Association with the NHS A Recent Campaign Has Been Set Up to Bring a GP Surgery to Lemington in Newcastle. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Takes a Look at the Health Services Already on Offer in the Area


Byline: HELEN RAE

RESIDENTS living in a Tyneside city suburb are currently living without a GP.

Those in Lemington, in Newcastle, have to travel to Throckley, Newburn or Denton to see a doctor as their local GP retired several years ago.

But what other health services are already on offer?

For the past seven years, advanced nurse practitioners Sally Hall, Catherine Lawson and secretary Melanie Burke have been operating a health clinic in Lemington with more than 2,300 people registered to their books.

The services offered include vaccinations, sexual health, minor injury, cardio-vascular and respiratory problems, and screening for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma.

"We deal with about 80% of what doctors manage," explained Sally, 52.

"The services we provide include children's vaccinations, health screening, minor injury and blood pressure checks.

"Our set-up was the first of its kind in the North East and we are very proud of what we can offer to those in the community.

"It is very important for local people to get the sort of services we offer.

"We are not seen as an alternative to a GP practice as we work very closely with doctors nearby, but what we do give the patients is choice as well as improving access to health care.

"Our aim is to be able to give same-day appointments, which perhaps some GP surgeries can not, and present a health clinic which is friendly and approachable."

The Lemington Clinic, in Montagu Street, Newcastle, was so popular the advanced nurse practitioners set up a similar clinic in Cowgate five years ago, with 1,138 people registered there.

Catherine, 50, added: "We clinically examine patients like a GP and we do blood pressure checks and can prescribe medication. We are a community-based nurseled primary care service which compliments what doctors do."

Nurse practitioners are experienced nurses who have followed a course of advanced study and can give certain prescriptions, make referrals and administer vaccines.

Patients who visit the clinic in Lemington range from just a few days old to pensioners in their late 90s.

"Everyone is welcome to attend," explained Sally. "We are here to help all those living in the nearby area."

And the patients who visit the clinic appreciate the services on offer. …

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