NHS BORDERS says that in many cases, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) could be your first port of call to meet some of the urgent care needs that you would have previously seen your GP for.

This is why when you call your GP surgery and explain your symptoms, you may be offered an appointment with an ANP.

Advanced Nurse Practitioners are experienced and highly educated nurses who support GPs to ensure patients receive a fast and efficient service.

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ANPs in GP surgeries are available to assess and treat those who require urgent care for conditions including shortness of breath, dizziness and joint pain.

ANPs have undertaken masters level training and education which enables them to assess you, make clinical decisions and prescribe you with the treatment you need without you needing to see your GP.

 However, they do work alongside the duty GP and can seek urgent advice and GP input if required.

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Advanced Nurse Practitioners play a key role in ensuring you get access to the care you need; at the time you need it, as appointments with them are often available much sooner than with your GP.

However, you should still contact your GP promptly to seek advice if you have any possible warning signs of cancer and other serious conditions or if you need mental health support.

Your GP practice team can help you with the management of long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, or for short term illnesses that haven’t improved following advice or treatment from a local community pharmacy, such as chest or throat infections.

It is important to remember that there are a whole host of health professionals in your GP practice team who can help you, not just a GP.

This is why when you call to get an appointment, the reception team will ask you some questions about your health problems to make sure you get an appointment, either electronically or in person, with the most appropriate team.