Primary Care, Transforming Our Services

Primary Care is the first point of contact for healthcare, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS.

Services are based in Health Centres, Practices, Community Clinics and out with hospital settings. This includes:

  • General Practitioners (GP/Doctor)
  • Community Pharmacists (Chemist)
  • Dentists (Mouth/Teeth Care)
  • Community Opticians (Eye Care)

There are professionals and services that work alongside your GP.

This guide will explain some of the changes that you may see and how to access these services to ensure you get the right care in the right place.

General Practitioner (GP)

The GP has traditionally been the first point of contact for patients accessing Primary Care. General Practitioners (GPs) treat common medical conditions and play an important role in looking after patients in the community. There is a wide range of skilled and experienced services and professionals working alongside GPs and Practices to complement GP care. To ensure patients are directed to the right care at the right place, GP Receptionists will ask some important questions when patients contact a GP Practice.

GP Receptionist

The GP Receptionist role is to support and guide patients through Primary Care services.

Receptionists as first point of contact are trained to support patients by signposting. They may refer or appoint patients to the most appropriate professional or service to best suit their health and social care needs.

All information shared remains confidential and is used only to guide the patient to the right professional or service.

Pharmacy

Primary Care Pharmacists work alongside GP Practices helping patients use medicines safely. The team support clinics, medication reviews and prescription requests.

Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacy Support Workers process medicine changes from discharge and outpatient letters.

Pharmacy First Scotland is a service provided by Community Pharmacy, offering advice, guidance and treatment including:

  • Sore throat and cough
  • Mouth ulcers, earache and headlice
  • Indigestion, constipation, and diarrhoea 
  • Allergies, hay fever and impetigo

Visit your local Pharmacy for advice.

Pharmacies - Inverclyde Council or log onto Pharmacy services in Scotland | NHS inform

Community Treatment & Care

Community Treatment and Care (CTAC) is a long-standing nurse-led service formerly known as Treatment Rooms.

Working alongside GPs, the CTAC team provide specialist care in Health Centres and GP Practices including:

  • Ear care
  • Catheter care
  • Blood pressure, blood glucose and blood samples
  • Pulse and body temperature
  • Wound, leg ulcer and dressing care
  • Removal of stitches and staples
  • Medication administration i.e. injections

Should patients require to visit one of our centres, the GP Practice will make a referral to the CTAC service.

Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Community Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) offer specialised services in partnership with GPs.

ANPs are highly skilled senior nurses with advanced clinical skills, allowing them to:

  • Take a full medical history
  • Carry out physical assessments and examinations
  • Make a diagnosis and carry out treatment
  • Prescribe medicines
  • Plan any follow up treatment
  • Refer patients for investigations

Advanced Nurse Practitioners enhance the care available to patients and can be found in various settings including care homes, GP Practices and home visits by GP referral.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

GPs can have a role in supporting and managing the Mental Health & Wellbeing of patients, but there are many other resources availalbe which can be easily accessed that may help.

NHS Inform has information on identifying, treating and managing mental health problems. It also has a range of mental health self-help guides covering issues like anxiety, depression, self-esteem and sleep.

When phoning 111, a trained Practitioner can offer advice and connect you to other support and services.

The Inverclyde Primary Care Mental Health Team provides support and treatment to adults over 18. They offer mental health assessments and short term treatment. Support can be provided via phone, NHS near me or in person. You can self-refer to the team by calling 01475 558000.

Physiotherapy

Conditions affecting your joints, bones and muscles, known as Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, can often be self-managed.

Information, videos and advice that you may find helpful can be found at: Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy - NHSGGC

Should patients require further support, Physiotherapists can provide expert advice and assessments to help you with:

  • Improving movement and strength
  • Returning to sport after an injury
  • Rehabilitation after an operation

Appointments are available face to face, by telephone or video call.

Referral forms can be completed online at: How to access the Physiotherapy Service - NHSGGC

Vaccinations

NHS Scotland provides a number of Vaccination programmes to protect populations against disease.

Vaccinations are no longer carried out in GP Practices and are now offered in a variety of locations including maternity settings, schools, community clinic and care homes.

Health information, travel vaccination requirements and advice on staying healthy when travelling abroad can be accessed at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk

Vaccination information for pregnancy and birth, childhood through to adulthood can be found on the NHS Inform website.

‚ÄčImmunisations in Scotland | NHS inform

Community Link Workers

Community Link Workers (CLW) support patients with non-medical issues affecting overall physical and emotional wellbeing. This is known as social prescribing and includes:

  • Financial worries
  • Mental health concerns
  • Physical activity (exercise)
  • Emotional support
  • Housing matters

Maintaining confidentiality at all times, Community Link Workers are highly skilled and trained to deliver a professional service similar to the GP Practice team. A GP appointment is not necessary for a referral to the Community Link Worker team. Receptionists, Nurses, Pharmacists and Physiotherapists can make this referral.

Community Engagement

The HSCP are working in partnership with Your Voice to deliver community engagement across Inverclyde. Engagement session, information stalls and visit to community groups will take place from the middle of August to help patients understand the changes surrounding these services and how to access care in the right place.