FIRST PRIMARY CARE PARAMEDIC ARRIVES IN THURROCK
A forward thinking GP provider in Thurrock brings the expertise of a Paramedic – Emergency Care Practitioner to GP surgeries in the area.
Dr Pro Mallik, Medical Director, College Health, has engaged Sue Finan, ECP, to support unscheduled patient care for patients in and around Grays, Tilbury and Corringham. Dr Mallik hopes to embed this community practitioner service across all College Health surgeries. Sue joins a small team of carefully selected, qualified and experienced specialists as the new first port of call for all unplanned home visit and urgent care requests as well as essential support to the GP’s looking after the care needs of patients in care homes in the area.
In addition to work out in the community, Sue also supports the GPs in surgeries including; Oddfellows Hall Health Centre and the Commonwealth Health Centre (formerly Shehadeh Medical Centres), taking triage calls and assessing patient requirements for support from a medical professional in the surgery or a home visit. She is able to update patient records from her mobile computer so that GPs can quickly see their patient’s treatment plan.
Sharon Hogarth, Area Manager for College Health who has employed Thurrock’s first paramedic, is really excited by the additional benefits having a Paramedic on the team can bring and said:
“College Health is always looking for ways to innovate in primary care and improve experience and outcomes for Patients. Having an experienced Paramedic ECP on board is a real positive way in which we can help our housebound Patients and those too poorly to attend the surgery as well as help our GPs manage their workload. This in turn frees up more time for our GP’s to see those patients with more complex care needs both in Surgery and in the community.”
Specially trained paramedics like Sue are able to provide support to people in their own homes, and within care homes, providing much needed treatments, care, seeing to minor illness and injuries and becoming a trusted member of the community health team.
“We hope that once people see the positive impact Sue has on the surgery and community, we can extend this to other GP Practices in the area, including across all Chadwell and Tilbury areas. We haven’t stopped there; we are also working with Anglia Ruskin University to offer paramedics in training a placement at one of our surgeries, so that they can get a feel for how primary care works.”
Paramedics working in GP surgeries have to undergo specialist Emergency Practitioner training and this benefits GPs, the wider healthcare system and is able to improve overall patient experience by:
· Being able to free up access to appointments by carrying out necessary home visits
· Being able to respond to urgent requests and able to refer directly to registrars at the local hospital
· Offering expertise in a diverse range of conditions to support GP diagnosis
· Reducing attendance at A&E
· Reducing time to diagnosis/ treatment and fast-tracking patients
· Reducing demand for hospital admissions through access to appropriate care at the point of need.
Speaking about her appointment Sue Finan said:
“I’m delighted to be working here in Thurrock, the level of support from GPs and others in the primary care team have been amazing, I feel able to make recommendations for treatment to the GPs and nursing staff.
“I’ve met with the Care Home Managers, and been able to carry out a number of visits already. Having worked in emergency care for over 20 years I feel I can really offer Thurrock patients a personalised and quality service.”
Sue is also working with Dr Mallik and the College Health team to support patients and their carers in the community who are more vulnerable, lonely and isolated. Keeping in contact and checking wellness on a regular basis and arranging visits to support those that need it most including families of patients on palliative (end of life care) and those who are vulnerable or suffer with frailty.