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Celebrating International Nurses Day

Each year, 12 May is International Nurses Day – a great time to stop for a moment and celebrate all the work nurses do here at Riverside, around Scotland and across the world!

We are so fortunate to have seven amazing General Practice Nurses working here at Riverside, who help people with all manner of health concerns.

The role nurses play in primary care has been marked on International Nurse’s Day by a visit to the Musselburgh Primary Care Centre from Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of the Nursing & Midwifery Council. As well as meeting nurses from the local health board’s CWIC and CTAC teams, Diane and Delia (our Specialist Practice Nurses) were also delighted to meet Andrea during her visit to the centre.

Our Specialist Practice Nurses
Much of Diane and Delia’s time is spent working with our many patients who have chronic long-term conditions, including COPD, diabetes and asthma. They review them regularly and see them rapidly, if any new symptoms relating to their condition emerge. They work closely with our GPs, bringing them into the discussion about a patient’s care if needed.

Diane and Delia also offer appointments after something like a stroke or a diagnosis of coronary heart disease, contraception reviews, prescribe the contraceptive pill, do contraceptive implant insertion and removal, and coil removal. Coils can be inserted at Chalmers in Edinburgh.

Not all GP Practices are lucky enough to have nurses with Diane and Delia’s level of expertise working with them – like GPs, nurses with this level of expertise are in short supply! The care they provide to patients with long-term health conditions is so valuable, and also allows our GPs to spend more time with people who need to see a GP specifically, for example patients with complex or multiple health conditions.

Our Nurse Practitioners (Triage)
We then have our three Nurse Practitioners who work in our first floor triage/call room: Chris (our Senior Nurse), Sarah and Arran. Chris and Sarah both used to work at NHS 24, so again we’re so fortunate to have them here at Riverside to help us manage and triage the large number of calls we get each day. Arran has joined us quite recently from the Borders General Hospital: it’s great to see these experienced nurses in our call room each day, generally making sure (with our team supervisors) that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Just like at NHS 24, Chris, Sarah and Arran all support our call handlers, giving them advice to pass to patients while they’re on the call. They also have their own patient list each day, offering telephone appointments where they assess patients and either offer self-care advice, refer to other services, or book them into appointments at the Practice as appropriate.

Our Practice Nurses
Last but definitely not least we have Gillian and Sarah, our Practice Nurses. A huge number of our patients will have seen Gillian and Sarah, whether it be for blood tests, smears, blood pressure checks, or warfarin/INR and injections.

Local health board nursing teams

We also really work really closely each day with our nurse colleagues in the local health board’s nurse-led CWIC team next door, who see patients from across East Lothian (including Riverside patients) for a range of new same-day health concerns each day. The local health board’s CTAC nursing team is also based next door, and again see patients from GP Practices across the county. The CTAC team now provide B12 injections, wound dressing, stitch removal, ear syringing, Doppler assessment and stocking measurement, rather than the Practice – patients should self-refer to CTAC.

This is all part of a broader drive to reduce pressure in General Practice so GPs have more time to see the patients who most need their help, and to make sure people are seen by the most appropriate health professional, in the right place at the right time.

So today we ask our patients to join with us in celebrating all of the amazing nurses working at Riverside, and the equally amazing nurses working in local health board services in Musselburgh.