Seeing the Right Practitioner for the Right Condition

Northfield Medical Centre, like most other Medical Centres, is staffed by many different types of Practitioners, not just Doctors and Nurses.  Each of these has their role in helping you to manage your health which is why it is not always appropriate for you to see a Doctor at your visit.

All the staff at Northfield are fully trained, qualified and registered with any appropriate and required body. They will only see patients with conditions that fall within their scope of practice.

Hopefully this will help to clarify the roles these different professions have and help you to understand why your appointment is not with a doctor.

The Clinical Pharmacists work alongside the rest of the team and see patients with long term conditions and review the medication these patients take to ensure they are safe effective and appropriate.

The Pharmacy Technicians support the clinical pharmacist and can help patients understand their medication, what it is for and how to use it.

First Contact Physiotherapists are part of the staff group called Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and are independent, specialist clinicians who can diagnose, treat and manage musculoskeletal conditions

Physician Associate is a relatively new profession in the UK. They work alongside doctors and see, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions and can offer health promotion advice.

Nurse Practitioners are qualified, registered nurses who have undertaken additional training and perform a similar role to Physician Associates.

Nurse Associate again is a relatively new career pathway in the NHS. They can deliver hands-on person-centred care and monitoring as part of the Nursing Team.

Health Care Assistants undertake specific clinical activities and health promotion including wound care, taking blood samples, ECGs, certain vaccinations & immunisations.

Social prescribing is another new role assisting the rest of the team.  The Social Prescriber has links to many other organisations outside of the NHS which may be able to offer support, be it emotional or practical, to patients where medical interventions alone are either not appropriate or insufficient. All members of the practice team can refer patients to the social prescriber.

Care Co-Ordinator’s support patients who see other clinicians. They are an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team, a Care Coordinator will work closely with the patient to initially assess their needs, in order to develop and deliver personalized- and often complex- care plans. Depending on the specific requirements, as well as connecting the patient with the correct contacts within the practice, this may include contacting, liaising with and bringing together different specialists and community service providers to ensure the care delivered is appropriate and effective.

The Mental Health Facilitator sees and reviews patients who suffer from more severe mental illness.

The Mental Health Practitioner will see any patient with a new diagnosis of mental health illness who have not yet been seen by the mental health team and offer support until they are seen.

This is a list of all the healthcare professionals we have working at Northfield Medical Centre. They do not work full time so appointments with the relevant health care worker may only be available at certain times and on certain days.

We hope this makes it clearer as to why you do not always see a doctor as it may be far more relevant, and a better use of expertise, to see another professional.  If at anytime it is felt necessary for you to see a doctor an appointment will be made.  By doing this it means there are more appointments available for the doctor to see patients they are best placed to help.

 If you ever have an appointment that you cannot attend for whatever reason, or it is no longer necessary we would be very grateful if you could please cancel it either by phone or the NHS App so this appointment can be offered to another patient.

Produced by The Patient Participation Group