Services - Brunel PCN

22nd Jul

It takes a team to care for a community

Did you know we have a team of healthcare professionals at our practice? As well as doctors and nurses, we have physiotherapists, pharmacists, paramedics, dieticians, social prescribers and more, as part of our team and our PCN.

This means that we can offer you more specialist support and provide better care. When you contact us to make an appointment, we’ll ask you some questions which are designed to help our staff guide you to the most appropriate clinical person to help.

It might mean that instead of seeing a GP, you are referred to another member of the team, and as an expert in their area, this usually means you’ll be seen more quickly and by someone who can offer their expert support and advice.

You can find out more about the different roles below.

Care Navigators/Patient Advisors:

The first point of contact when you call your GP Practice, teams of Care Navigators or Patient Advisors will ensure you get the right care, from the right person at the right time. Providing them with brief information means they can signpost you accordingly. This can save you time if an appointment is not needed or there are other services that can also support your needs. For example, other members of the practice team or community services.

Advanced Nurse Practitioners:

Advanced Nurse Practitioners are educated at Masters Level in clinical practice and have been assessed as competent in practice, using their expert clinical knowledge and skills. They have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Care Coordinators:

A care coordinator is a trained health professional that helps to support people’s care. They offer a range of support such as monitoring and coordinating treatment plans, help educate people about their condition, connect people with services, and evaluate people’s progress.

Clinical Pharmacists:

Undertake medication reviews for patients with complex, long-term needs and helping them to manage their conditions. They can also help with medication enquiries and prescriptions, supporting the repeat prescription system, dealing with acute prescription requests, and providing expertise in clinical medicines advice and medicines optimisation.


Experts in nutrition. They work with patients to alter their diets based on their medical condition and individual needs. Dietitians advise people and help them make informed and practical choices about their food and nutrition. This could include people with digestive problems, those who want to lose weight, or who need to put on weight after an illness, or people with an eating disorder or a food allergy.

First Contact Physiotherapists:

Usually physiotherapists with enhanced skills that can help patients with issues such as back, neck and joint pain. By making it easier for patients to see a physiotherapist, they will have quicker access to diagnosis and treatment, helping them to manage their conditions more effectively and recover faster, so they can get back to normal life quickly. GPs will often refer patients to physios as they are often the best clinician to deal with certain issues.

General Practice Nurse:

Involved in most aspects of patient care such as obtaining blood samples, minor and complex wound management, travel health advice and vaccinations, child immunisations and advice, family planning and women’s health, men’s health screening, sexual health services, smoking cessation and screening. GP nurses may also have direct supervision of healthcare assistants.

General Practitioners (GPs):

Treat all common medical conditions and refer patients to hospitals and other medical services for urgent and specialist treatment. They focus on the health of the whole person, combining physical, psychological and social aspects of care. GPs are part of a much wider team and often refer patients to other experts within the practice to provide specialist support for the patients’ needs.

Health and Wellbeing Coaches:

Health and wellbeing coaches engage with people to support them in taking an active role in their health, by providing advice and support. They take a holistic approach, helping people to identify difficulties or issues in all areas of their life and helping them find solutions and lifestyle changes that mean they can lead happy and fulfilled lives. Health and wellbeing coaches can also play a key role in helping to tackle health inequalities.

Nursing Associates:

Help to bridge the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care as part of the nursing team. They allow nurses to focus on more complex clinical work. Nursing associates work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings.

Occupational Therapists:

Work with people who have difficulties carrying out various day-to-day activities because of disability, illness, trauma, ageing, and a range of long-term conditions. They help people to get on with their every-day activities and stay in their own homes by providing adaptations. Paramedics Work in a variety of roles within a general practice. Their background in pre-hospital care means that they are used to working with people with a variety of health conditions from coughs and minor injuries to more serious conditions such as asthma and heart attacks. They work alongside GPs and help manage routine or urgent appointments, telephone triage (assessment of urgency of illness or injury) and home visits.

Pharmacy Technicians:

Work alongside the clinical pharmacists and the wider practice team. They help with prescription and medication enquiries, providing safe and effective medicines optimisation as well as ensuring any hospital medication changes are up to date and accurate. They also support electronic repeat dispensing, allowing patients to receive several months of prescriptions at one time and therefore reducing the need for a patient to see a GP each time.

Physician Associates:

A clinical graduate who, while not a doctor, has the skills and knowledge to help diagnose and manage the treatment and care of patients, alongside the practice team, under the supervision of an experienced GP. They can provide extra capacity to help with continuity of patient care and help free up consultants to concentrate on more complex cases.

Social Prescribers:

Sometimes people visit their practice for issues caused by non-medical things like loneliness, anxiety, debt and unemployment, where a medical prescription is not the best solution. A social prescriber works with patients and their families to help them access a range of local community services that provide practical or emotional support and guidance of a non-medical nature. This helps improve the health and wellbeing of people in the community and allows people to remain independent and live their best lives