What is Primary Care?
Primary care is the first point of contact for most people and is delivered by a wide range of independent contractors, which include GPs, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists, and nurse practitioners as well as NHS walk-in centres and the NHS 111 telephone service. Primary health care includes the basic health care services that people can access.
Primary care services cover the everyday health needs and health monitoring for people of all ages. Locations that specialise in primary care services will usually employ doctors and nurses skilled in diagnosis and a wide range of basic medical care. If a person is injured, ill, or suspects illness, a primary care provider is usually the first medical attention he or she will seek. This supports admission avoidance.
Primary care encompasses all healthcare taking place outside secondary care which include acute and mental health trusts.
Primary care is the underpinning of the NHS: each year in England alone there are approximately 300 million consultations in general practice with nearly 800 million prescriptions dispensed in the community.
Primary care is a multidisciplinary aspect of healthcare with a whole range of professionals contributing to the care of individual patients. Many patients are seen in their own homes by a variety of community services, and larger numbers of complex procedures and interventions are now taking place in the primary care setting. This is an outstanding infrastructure and delivers some of the most amazing care.
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