A new level of nursing care is to be introduced at Alnwick Infirmary next week as a contract with GPs comes to an end.
Two new nurse practitioners, who have undergone additional training to perform an advanced role, are to work on Ward One from November 1.
The nurses, who have many years’ experience, will be able to diagnose, assess and review patients, order tests and treatment and prescribe medications and will offer specialist support to staff and consultant physician, Dr James Morton, who is resident on the ward two days a week.
The move follows discussions with NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure new arrangements are in place when the current contract with Infirmary Drive Medical Group comes to an end on October 31, and means patients will experience no disruption to services.
GPs from Infirmary Drive will continue to provide support at the hospital’s minor injuries unit.
Julie Button, modern matron at Alnwick Infirmary, said: “We are pleased that two highly-experienced nurses are joining our ward team in Alnwick and that patients will experience no disruption to services.
“They bring with them many years of experience of providing high-quality personalised care to patients and will be an asset to the team.
“By having the nurse practitioners based on the ward during the day, our patients – many of whom are frail and elderly – will continue to receive the very best service with prompt assessment and review.
“We’re very pleased that we will be continuing to work with our GP partners at Infirmary Drive who will still be providing support to our minor injuries unit team.”
Ward One at Alnwick Infirmary provides rehabilitation, discharge planning and support for patients who have been admitted to hospital for a range of acute medical conditions.
It provides specialist rehabilitation for those who have suffered a stroke, as well as palliative care much closer to people’s homes.
Dr Robin Hudson, business director for quality and engagement at NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are pleased that arrangements have now been put in place to ensure continuity of services at Alnwick Infirmary and that local people have access to the highest possible quality of care.”