Nurses & Clinics

Lisa Gillie is our Practice Nurse and is our nursing team leader.  Lisa runs our asthma clinic, coronary heart disease clinic, cardiac rehab, co-ordinates the cervical screening and childhood immunizations programmes, and has daily treatment room sessions in the practice.

The Bellingham District Nursing team has two Community Matrons, Graine Rapier and Julie Culbert.  The rest of the community team includes Joanne Nichols, Helen Patterson, Diane O'Neil, Valerie Cowens, Zoe Airey, Heather Thirlwell, Beth Shield and Hannah Harkins.  All the nurses are registered general nurses, with the Sisters having undertaken further study. They are all employed by Northumberland Care Trust.

There are many aspects to their work but their overall aim is to provide a comprehensive skilled nursing service and to promote the wellbeing of the community in which they work:

  • To facilitate and provide specialist equipment to individuals within their own home.
  • To enable individuals to gain confidence and independence through teaching specific skills in relation to their condition.
  • To act as a link person between hospital, home and general practitioner.
  • Continence promotion: assessment and changes to the management of continence problems.
  • Specialist clinics: asthma, diabetes, coronary heart disease and health promotion
  • Support and advice whenever necessary.
  • Support to people with short or long term illness.
  • Terminal care of patients at home.
  • Bereavement counselling.

The District Nurses work as an integral part of the primary health care team at The Bellingham Practice. They accept direct referrals from individuals as well as from other family members, hospitals and the general practitioner.  They can be contacted on 01434 220383 between 9am and 10am on weekdays and Saturdays. There is a answer machine for messages outside these times.

In addition Graine Rapier, one of our Community Nursing Sisters, is a Diabetic Specialist Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner and has a special interest in COPD. A Nurse Practitioner is an experienced nurse who has undergone extra training to allow her to develop skills in the diagnosis and management of common problems in General Practice.  Graine has the following qualifications:  Registered General Nursing Diploma, BSc in Professional Studies in District Nursing,tests_and_results Certificate in Education, Royal College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Award. She has other qualifications in diabetes, continence care, palliative care and nurse prescribing.

We have staff particularly trained for taking blood samples (phlebotomy as it is correctly known) and blood pressures. Kath Bainbridge, Heidi Moore and Vicky Duncan are our Health Care Assistants and this is part of their role in the practice. When you are asked to make an appointment to arrange a blood sample, BP recording or an ECG it is likely that you will be given an appointment with Kath, Vicky or Heidi.  This will free up nursing time for more complex appointments such as Asthma or Diabetic reviews.

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