You might think you need to see a doctor, but there are a wide range of health professionals that work in GP practices alongside GPs. They are all highly skilled in their own areas of expertise and you can trust them to provide the care you need. Your practice may have some or all of these health professionals, or something similar.
So that everyone is seen as quickly as possible, it is important that patients are matched with the most appropriate health professional for their particular medical problem. We want practice staff to make use of the full extent of their training and experience, rather than spending time doing something that could be done by someone else.
GPs will always care for the most seriously ill patients in the practice or those with more complicated illnesses. It is not the best use of their time and expertise if they see patients that other members of the practice team are qualified and experienced to be able to deal with.
If you are seen by one professional, such as a nurse, but then need to be seen by someone else, such as a doctor for a second opinion, this will happen safely and seamlessly.
You may be referred to your local community pharmacy, if that is appropriate for your needs. The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service enables a member of the GP practice team, usually a receptionist, to refer you directly to a community pharmacist for appropriate health problems. Community pharmacists have the training and skills to advise on many minor ailments. It’s often much quicker and easier than waiting for a GP appointment. Receptionists have been trained to do this, it helps you get the care you need from the right person, in the right time frame, depending on the medical problem you have.