Services

We offer services that compliment those normally delivered within GP Practices and provide additional support outside core practice hours:

ADVANCED NURSE PRACTITIONER (VAWAS) SERVICE

This service reduces pressure on GPs freeing them for complex work in the practice. Known as VAWAS the “Vulnerable Adult Wrap Around Services” is provided 7 days a week and complements other services commissioned both locally and nationally to ensure the best possible care and care planning for this group of patients.

By supporting frail and older people to understand and manage their long-term conditions, they are less likely to require urgent care or experience harm. Our service particularly focuses on providing additional resources for elderly people in care homes and residential homes and we also see patients in their own homes to deliver a service addressing social as well as medical needs.

An Advanced Practice Nurse (ANP) is a registered nurse who has the expert knowledge and clinical competencies needed for complex decision making. 14 ANPs and 2 Nurse Practitioners (NPs) work across Easington and Sedgefield, alongside the patient's GP and practice to improve care, ensure admission to hospital is made only where it is the best option for the patient and ensure the patient’s care preferences are clearly understood and documented.

PRIMARY CARE SERVICE

We provide access to additional primary care appointments on afternoons, evenings and weekends so patients from all 21 practices in our locality (SDH & Intrahealth Federation) can access a clinician when they can’t be seen at their registered practice.

We have 2 hubs offering these appointments based in Easington and Sedgefield where patients can be seen face to face or assessed over the phone.

These appointments are booked via 111.

ANTICOAGULATION MANAGEMENT

An anticoagulation therapy management service for patients receiving warfarin therapy is delivered in GP practices and, when needed, at home for patients registered at GP practices in Easington and Sedgefield, giving people choice of the type and location of treatment. South Durham Health holds the contract for this service on behalf of nine practices which are:

Blackhall and Peterlee Practice
Silverdale Family Practice
Murton Medical Group
Byron Medical Practice
Horden Group Practice
Marlborough Surgery
Skerne Medical Group
Bishop’s Close Medical Practice
St Andrews Medical Practice

INTEGRATED DIABETES SERVICE

This service is provided by a Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN) and Consultant who work in secondary care but provide regular clinics within our GP practices to support the ongoing care of more complex diabetic patients.  They share their expertise with practice doctors and nursing staff to upskill their diabetes knowledge and provide specific, personalised care to each patient’s needs.

By providing patients with access to this service closer to home it enables and empowers them to manage their own care.

PRIMARY CARE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE

Commissioned by County Durham and Cumbria Integrated Care Board and working collaboratively with Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust and the IntraHealth Federation we provide a practice based Adult Primary Care Mental Health Service.

This is delivered by Community Psychiatric nurses with Nurse Practitioner status within all 17 South Durham GP practices and 4 IntraHealth practices.

This service provides support to adults with excellent local access.  Ensuring an increased range of support, knowledge, and advice to general practices to care for patients with mental health needs.

Primary care networks

There are 5 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in the Sedgefield and Easington localities each comprising a geographically grouped number of practices with a combined patient population of between 30,000 and 58,000 patients.

Each PCN has appointed a Clinical Director who is supported on a day-to-day basis by our Business Managers and PCN Operational Managers as well as the core team providing financial governance, strategic, and operational support.

A number of additional services are provided from each PCN to practices.  These include: Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, First Contact Physiotherapists, Social Prescribing Link Workers, Trainee Nurse Associates, Physician Associates, Care Coordinators, Health and Wellbeing coaches and First Contact Mental Health Nurses.

The PCNs also provide an Enhanced Access Service which offers routine primary care services outside of core opening hours on evenings and weekends.

TRAINING AND EDUCATION

South Durham Health plays a key role in providing training and education for all General Practice staff. We provide regular training events attended by all practices which include targeted clinical updates for general practitioners and senior nurses plus general training for nurses and health care assistants and non-clinical education for all practice employees.

In addition, we provide access to a variety of online training resources for practice staff.

We welcome comments and feedback about any of our services. Please email susan.watson45@nhs.net or mandy.barrass@nhs.net or telephone 01429 808310.