British Lung Foundation
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Anyone Had DEALINGs with Nurse Practitioners in GP's Surgries

Anyone Had DEALINGs with Nurse Practitioners in GP's Surgries

I phoned doc gp up today for Emergancy Appontment and was told by receptionist I could only see a Nurse Practitioner.

I said I don't want to see a nurse I want to see my doctor gp ANYWAY reseponiest told me she is just like doctor can order test and do prescriptions WELL that was me sold

What can I say NEEDs must and could she be as bad / short as some of the doctors I have seen.

Anyway it turns out she was very nice and was on the ball with examination and following up resuts of test scan's I had done NEEDLESS to say I have never heard of them befour SO am after finding a consensus from our members on if they have had dealings with them.

Obversely I am tad perplexed as to my impending results given my condition .. and weather or not I have been allocated special care OR could it be I have seen my doctors QUITE a lot this year and are being fobed of to cuts and bruises squad.

shocking such a basic error :o

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29 Replies

I for one did not realise what the Nurse Practitioner was trained to carry out. Like you, I thought it was just a way of deflecting you from the Dr's.

Now it seems they are the one's who can provide a more holistic kind of care, patient centered, which I believe is a good thing personally. I will not look down next time I am asked to see one.

Why don't they let us know this information, I haven't come across it before, and NP's have been present in my practice for 4ish years.

Pretty typical of the NHS (UK) provide you with a service, but don't tell you what it's about, you are just expected to assimilate, as if by nature?????

I could go on, but will curb it for now.



I was referred to a nurse practitioner who was brilliant. She diagnosed my COPD (I've had asthma for 40 years) and she put me on a course of drugs that has transformed my life. If I have a respiratory issue I now ask for her by name - and get a much quicker appointment into the bargain. Very pleased indeed

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Hi Daz....I actually prefer to see the Nurse Practioner ...i find them excellent.

But I always wonder what their pay scale is like compared to a GP, for doing a similar job .

If the nurse thinks I need to see a GP they refer me to one.


In the UK, nurse practitioners earn approximately £65 per hour less than a GP.

In my experience they should be getting more because they do a great job better than some Doctors .they have compassion and understanding.

I really wish that we had one. People who have multiple and complex condition, such as lung and heart conditions, diabetes, lung and heart conditions, mostly have to try to do the liaising between their various consultants themselves. I do, at least. It would be wonderful to have someone with a good degree of knowledge about all of my conditions and the ability to act as a central pin between all of the different doctors, incuding my GP.

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Oh How I agree Stillstanding, we see all these different medics and often relate our problems over and over again, however our facts still get based on previous persons opinions, plus some opinions of people who are not even conversant with the ins and outs of illnesses as it is not their specialty. . Plus as someone says I am always dubious of being passed on to the cuts and bruises squad, or the overly anxious crew. Maybe it is due to my passed experience of nurses, including specialty nurses, some nurses are very caring as with doctors and others are not. Nurse practitioners can take the load off the doctors and reduce your waiting time but are not the answer for long term chronic flare up illnesses as they don't know the patient well enough , having said that some doctors don't either. Must stop this is a sore subject for me . Have a good day.

A nurse practitioner is someone who - like the one in my surgery - has just failed in the final exams a few times so has not got the certificate but still is a very knowledgeable and capable doctor to all intents and purposes. Our nurse practitioner failed the exams because he would get too stressed and panicky during them as happens with many people when faced with them. I have found that the ones I have seen at our surgery are always conscientious and caring when dealing with your problems and if they need to they will call on one of the senior doctors in the practice to confirm what to do in a given situation and not - as some GP's do send you off with a prescription. So in my opinion I would always accept seeing one.

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Most nurse practitioners have not trained to become doctors. They are trained nurses who have undertaken a Bsc to qualify as a nurse, followed by a masters degree in Advanced practice. They have many hours working alongside a GP during their masters degree course which usually takes an extra 3 years training.


The nurse practitioner in my surgery was the one who finally recognised that my never ending cough was something more serious than my normal asthma & referred me to the consultant, then explained to me after what all the data & jargon was, so I personally have a high regard for her.

She is also someone I know I can go to for ABs when I need them without the risk of hitting a locum GP who gives me the usual 'ABs won't work, just wait & take a lemsip' sort of line.

Hi Daz we have had nurse practitioners for a long time now they are more qualified than a nurse but not as qualified as a GP. They can prescribe without getting a GP to sign the prescription order bloods x-rays and I think they can refer you to see a specialist.

My experience with them have always been good and this year had my lung function test done and she did it the same way as I have always had it blow 3 times in to a tube to calculate your stage.

My GP Practice has employed nurse practitioners for the past 10 years, or more. My experience of them is positive. I also have a Community Matron who visits me at least once each month and who is available by phone to help with any medical or administrative problems.

I am fortunate enough to live in a place in the country where we have the only purpose built respiratory unit. It is run entirely by specialist respiratory nurse practitioners who are absolutely up-to-date, know exactly what their patients need and are simply wonderful. Long live nurse practitioners!



Where is this?

Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses with extra training,. Some of them Specialise, others are more general.

Three years ago, I saw a Nurse Practitioner who failed to diagnose a rash. It wasn't until I saw a Doctor that my condition was diagnosed as a Varicella infection because it hadn't followed the usual course of shingles. I got spots on my thighs and arms.

Weird because I had chicken pox when I was a teenager.

Still, it was better than the diagnosis of the Pharmacist who said loudly in front of a shop full of people "It;s fleas"

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Hi AS it can also work the other way aunt was a practice nurse and diagnosed a patient's rash that the doctor didn't recognise.

I hope you feel better soon ..take care

Pete has seen a nurse practitioner before and has always been met with kindness and efficiency Daz. Mind you, our GP practice is pretty good anyway and no complaints.

Pete has to go to hospital next Friday because his PSA level is raised. He is dreading that one!

You take care and wishing you well. xxxx

Hope things went well for Pete, thinking of you both.

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And of course if they didn't we're right here :)

Thank you for thinking of us swms, that is very kind and thoughtful of you. Petes appointment went well and he has to have an MRI scan just to check things out properly.

You take care and wishing you well. xxxx

We have a nurse practitioner, my experience is mixed, I always feel she is

too quick to change my medication without any follow up and recently when I asked for a copy of my care plan I found a lot of small things which

were incorrect - nothing major but details of results and dates when things

happened. So, I am reserving judgement even though I think the idea is a

sound one.

I had a lot of phlegm and struggled to breathe. The doctor I saw put me on a nebulizer which helped clear the phlegm. He told me I had COPD, no explanation or other tests and no medication. It was only a couple of years later that I had another similar event, this time I saw a nurse practitioner who sorted my medication and did breathing tests. Since then I have always seen a nurse practitioner yearly or more often if necessary. The thing with seeing her is that you get time to talk and discuss your treatment.

If you find a good one specialising in your condition, stick with them.

Hi there

I had a brilliant nurse practitioner (she has left now) I had her for 3 years and had a very good relationship with her, I found she was easily accessible and that she understood my case, she was able to prescribe my medication and had the time to listen to my concerns.

Don't be too hard build up your relationship and give him/her a chance you'll find them invaluable

Regards Linda

Hi ,I'm lucky enough to gave a great practise nurse at our health centre,,,,and if she thinks I need to see a GP ,,,,,no complaints .

Have seen nurse practitioner at surgery and A and E, very impressed on all occasions!

I'm presuming this is the same as a respiratory nurse? Or the Prctice Nurse?

My last experience for near 20 years in London was pretty good. She arranged things that GP didn't think of like PR and pneumonia jab, she also wrote and/or wrote prescriptions to be signed off by docs.

My new one in Gloucestershire claims to know nothing of BLF! Or for that matter the effects steroids can gave on skin & bones. The jury is out.

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I have seen a nurse practioner and she was very nice. They are a nurse doctor if that makes sense and can give you prescriptions and examine you like a doctor would. I don't think you are being fobbed off and if your surgery is like mine VERY busy now and appointments unless pre-booked like getting an audience with the pope! Hope this helped.

Can't fault the Nurse Practitioners at my last medical centre we had three plus 6 GPs, I was more happy to see them (we always had a choice Dr or N/Pract) obviously it was quite often quicker to see a nurse and one of them was a qualified Respiratory Nurse which was very useful from my point of view. We moved out of the area and my new medical centre doesn't come anywhere near for efficiency etc.

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