MDHS switches to nurse practitioners for weekend running of UCC

Maryborough District Health Service director of clinical services Nickola Allan, nurse practitioner Heather Blazko and CEO Terry Welch ahead of the health services move to a new service model which will see nurse practitioners installed at its urgent care centre.

The Maryborough District Health Service is set to implement a new service model for weekends at its urgent care centre which will see general practitioners called only during extreme emergencies.

To begin from this Thursday, the model will see nurse practitioners, who are advanced practiced registered nurses who have been endorsed to investigate, diagnose, treat and refer patients with acute and chronic conditions, to cover in-business hours during the week and weekend hours, from 5 pm Friday until 8 am Monday morning.

MDHS CEO Terry Welch said nurse practitioners had been trialled over three weekends within the urgent care centre.

“This trial has proven invaluable in assessing the longer term planning for urgent care coverage. The trial was been enormously successful. The nurse practitioners were able to manage every person who presented to the urgent care centre,” he said.

“The nurse practitioners will be our first front line contact for any management after hours on a weekend and we are working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and other regional centres like Ballarat to have a second tier support through them.

“Certainly there will be GPs available, however we will only be using that resource in extreme emergencies.”

For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, November 21.

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