What is triage? (Tree-arj)
Triage is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition.
Our triage team work to ‘assess’ our patients needs to ensure that patients see a Doctor for immediate treatment if they cannot wait, whilst still treating minor illness and injury quickly and efficiently without the need to wait for a doctors appointment.
Who are our triage clinicians?
We have four clinicians who work in conjunction with each other both in the morning and the afternoon
Tony Fox, is our triage practitioner – Although Tony cannot independently prescribe medications, he can organise certain medications through the triage doctors
Julie Randall is our triage nurse – Julie is an Independent Nurse Prescriber, and can prescribe medications for acute care
Both Tony and Julie work in conjunction with our triage Doctor team, consisting of an On Call doctor taking urgent telephone calls for the day, and making emergency house calls, and a Base Doctor seeing patients who need urgent medical help that day.
What do our triage team do?
Tony and Julie run what we call ‘book on the day’ clinics – these appointments cannot be pre-booked, and can only be booked the day that you wish to be seen. They deal with ‘on the day’ problems like minor illness and injuries, infections, allergies and bites, bumps and scrapes.
If they feel a problem needs a doctor’s opinion, they will make their assessment and make an appointment for the patient to see the Base Doctor as soon as possible.
Our On Call doctor telephones patients who need urgent advice or assistance that day, if an appointment is not available, or the patient is unable to visit the surgery. The On Call doctor will assess the patient by telephone, and make an appointment with the Base Doctor if they feel the patient needs to be seen, or will make a house call if the patient is really too poorly to travel to the surgery.
The Base Doctor sees patients assessed as needing immediate attention by the On Call doctor or Julie or Tony. Their appointments cannot be pre-booked.
Can they prescribe me a treatment?
Both Julie and Tony can organise prescriptions for acute care, such as antibiotics, some creams, anti-histamines etc.
They can prescribe the Morning after pill once per cycle, but CANNOT prescribe contraceptive pills
What are the most common cases they see?
Water Infections (UTI’s)
Seasonal problems, such as hayfever, colds and flu
Is there anything they cannot deal with
Julie cannot see children under the age of 1
Paula cannot see children under the age of 5
Contraception advice & Pill repeats
Breast & Scrotal Lumps/Problems
Stitches (they can remove them, but not put them in)
STI’s – these are dealt with at the GUM clinic at the hospital
How do they work alongside the other clinicians?
If an emergency situation is to arise during a patient’s consultation, both Tony and Julie are able to help, from administering CPR and emergency drugs to urgent ECG’s and Blood Tests
They can do a special test called a D-Dimer Test for a patient if a doctor suspects they have a blood clot.
If an ambulance has to be called, Tony or Julie will stay with the patient and carry out necessary observations until the paramedics arrive, so that they can give the most relevant and up to date information to the ambulance crew.
Tony is often asked by our Doctors to visit patients at home if they need an urgent assessment, ECG or blood test.
Having both a male and a female member on our triage team means they are available to chaperone if a doctor needs to examine a patient.
What are their backgrounds?
Tony worked as a paramedic for many years. He has worked alongside the clinical team at Gayton Road for over 10 years, firstly as an Emergency Care Practitioner with the NHS Out of Hours team, before being employed as our Triage Practitioner 2 years ago.
Julie has been an RGN for over 20 years. After qualifying as a nurse she worked in Gynae and Surgery before moving out into the community and is a Specialist in Community Care. Julie left her position as a Community Matron to join us as a Triage Nurse last year.