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Nurses to join triage team to speed up A&E assessment


Six advanced nurse practitioners, and four physicians’ assistants, have been employed by Leicester Royal infirmary as part of efforts to speed up patient assessment and treatment in its accident and emergency department.

They will form a team that will triage patients within 30 minutes of arrival, and offer appropriate treatment or referral.

The initiative hopes to help to ensure that patients are seen as quickly as possible by a team that can make the right decision on what care that patient needs. 

Physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners can also see some patients and  refer them quickly if they need to be seen by another service, or admitted to another area of the hospital.

ANP Matt Wensley, a former A&E charge nurse, said: “For many patients, we are the only people they will need to see.

“From a nursing perspective, we can bring that extra knowledge of patient care, so patients don’t just get treated, but feel they have been cared for.”

The team will initially offer an 8am to midnight service, and this will be reviewed and may be extended to a 24 hour service if required.  


Readers' comments (4)

  • We need a bigger story here - what does an ANP or physician assistant actually do?

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  • I have tried this technique but only found it is quicker if there is a second person to do the observations an complete the computor work. However the process is speeded up when inappropriate attenders are redirected on arrival to the appropriate site for care, e.g. to the dentist - Gp- Walk in Centre- GUM clinic.
    The second person can also do minor care that may be required e.g. dressings

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  • A physician assistant does pretty much what an SHO does, except they cannot prescribe. An ANP is a senior nurse who takes a history, orders XRays, can decide to refer a patient to a more appropriate service or clinician and is able to prescribe, they can also discharge patients.

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  • Total waste of resources having them triage patients then.

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