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Proud of our Practice: Practice aids elderly to stay put

Elderly patients in nursing homes are being kept out of hospital by an innovative nurse practitioner-led surgery in County Durham.

The practice, set up following a severe local shortage of GPs, uses case management techniques for high-risk and chronically-ill older people in nursing and residential homes to maintain independence, comfort and quality of life.

Belinda Kay, second left, a nurse practitioner at the surgery, said patients stay healthier for longer when they are treated in the 'least invasive' setting ­ and nursing home staff relate better to nurse practitioners than visiting GPs too.

'Our approach helps minimise avoidable or overlong hospital stays,' she said.

Dr Esben Sorensen, a salaried GP at the practice, said the nurse-run team had lower tensions than a GP-led practice.

'The team works well together and we have a lot of fun,' he said.

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