Nurse practitioners are needed to help stem the “aged care GP crisis” on the Peninsula according to local aged care provider Peninsula Villages.
Peninsula Villages is one of only a few aged care facilities to have a full-time Nurse Practitioner on-site, who collaborates with local GPs in providing care, services and treatment plans to residents.
CEO Colin Osborne said their presence allowed the aged care group to continue to offer high-quality care to residents needing ongoing or one-off care.
“From our perspective, Nurse Practitioners in aged care are the future,” Osborne said.
If you have somebody on site who’s clinically trained to an advanced level and can help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, it can take away pressure from the whole health system, which is currently strained from Coronavirus pressures.
“Nurse Practitioners have a higher level of training than Registered Nurses and are able to independently diagnose and prescribe medications as well as treat health conditions within their scope of practice.
“That means having a Nurse Practitioner also benefits our aged care residents, who can access better symptom management in a timely manner and with less complications.
“This has resulted in a reduction in Peninsula Villages’ transfers to hospital which is of particular importance as we continue to operate during a global pandemic.”
The focus of the role is to monitor and identify exacerbation of chronic health conditions and provide specialised end of life care.
Reviewing approximately 50 residents per week, Nurse Practitioner Leanne Northrop said she was seeing a real difference in her role supporting residents was helping to reduce hospital admissions and reliance on stretched GPs.
“I am excited to have joined Peninsula Villages on the beautiful Central Coast bringing with me a keen interest in wound care, emergency care, aged care and chronic condition management.
“When the clinical and allied medical teams work with us and our residents to understand and manage illness and injury, the outcomes are remarkable,” Northrop said.
The Federal Government has announced the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will be sent into aged care homes to ease staff shortages in the sector.
The ADF is expected to provide clinical and logistical care, as well as carrying out general duties.