New nursing role aims to improve patient care in South Tyneside

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's community assistant nurse practitioner Andrea King, left, with Diane Shotton, the Trust's lead integration nurse for South Tyneside.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's community assistant nurse practitioner Andrea King, left, with Diane Shotton, the Trust's lead integration nurse for South Tyneside.

A new community nursing role introduced by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is helping to improve patient care.

As the first of the Trust’s new ‘assistant nurse practitioners’ working in the community, Andrea King is now able to provide advanced support to district nurses and community staff nurses - freeing up their time to concentrate more on assessment and care for patients with complex needs.

Miss King was previously a healthcare assistant with the Trust’s community team for nine years and, to enable her to take on the new post, she achieved a degree in science and health and social care practice at Teesside University.

As an ‘assistant nurse practitioner’, she is now able to provide more care in her own clinics and on independent home visits, doing tasks such as giving certain injections, removing stitches, inserting catheters and applying leg ulcer compression bandages.

Previously, she would have had to rely on the supervision of a more senior nurse also being present.

Miss King said: “It is so rewarding to be able to use the clinical skills I have learned.”

Diane Shotton, the lead integration nurse for South Tyneside community integrated teams, said: “The assistant practitioner role contributes to more effective, efficient use of resources and we have had extremely positive feedback from patients.

“The role is also very important to the registered nurses in the team as it helps them to maintain reliability and continuity when visiting their patients in their homes, enabling our district nurses to deliver and deal with complex care.

“Andrea had the whole-hearted support of the Trust, and our East community team in South Shields in particular.”