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Student: Georgie Malcolm
Supervisor: Associate Professor Dee Mangin
Co-supervisor: Louisa Sullivan
Sponsor: Pegasus Health

Lay Report

What is the 24 Hour Surgery?

The 24 Hour Surgery is on Bealey Avenue in Christchurch. It provides 24-hour urgent medical and accident care. It can be very busy and sees more patients than the local emergency department. It is run by Pegasus Health, which is an organisation of general practitioners [GPs] in Christchurch. The team at the 24 Hour Surgery is a mixture of permanent staff and the 320 Christchurch GPs required to do regular shifts.

What are Urinary Tract Infections?

Urinary Tract Infections [UTIs] occur when bacteria infect and irritate the bladder. This can cause a burning pain when urinating, a feeling of needing to urinate more often, blood in the urine and lower abdominal discomfort. Half of women will get at least one UTI during their lifetime, with many getting regular UTIs.

What did this project address?

Primary care in Christchurch has a team-based approach with doctors and nurses sharing care according to their expertise and skills. However, the largest proportion of wait time at the 24 Hour Surgery involves waiting to see a doctor. Increasing the role of primary care nurses at the after hours clinic has been identified as one way to improve efficiency and patient satisfaction. At the 24 Hour Surgery, UTIs were selected as a suitable condition for nurse treatment. Many women with UTIs come in to the 24 Hour Surgery. As their condition is classed as non-urgent, they often experience long waiting times, especially when the surgery is busy. This project aimed to test whether the length of time that patients spend at the clinic could be reduced if experienced 24 Hour Surgery Nurses provided treatment for women with UTIs.

What did this project find?

Nurse treatment for women with UTIs reduced the average time spent at the 24 Hour Surgery by an average of 15 minutes from 56 minutes to 41 minutes. This was not shown to increase the time spent at 24 Hour Surgery for other patients attending the facility.

Could Nurses at the 24 Hour Surgery treat other conditions?

It is thought that there are a number of other illnesses suitable for nurse treatment. The results of this study suggest that at the 24 Hour Surgery, waiting times could be reduced by the introduction of nurse treatment for other conditions. This could help to increase the efficiency of the service, while maintaining or increasing patient satisfaction.

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