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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Triple boost to emergency department


l-r Karen Frost, Mark Baverstock, Harjot Singh

A new team has been introduced to Northampton General Hospital’s emergency department to improve care for seriously ill or injured patients. 

The A&E department has been bolstered by the appointment of three members of staff in the newly-created roles of advanced associate practitioner (AAP). 

Until recently, the trio were working as a paramedic, a respiratory nurse specialist and an junior sister in an emergency assessment unit.

Mark Baverstock said: “Essentially we’re nurse practitioners and whereas there have been nurse practitioners in minor injuries for a long time, this is a new role for Northampton in terms of the major injuries and the resuscitation room.

“Between the three of us, we have nearly 40 years’ experience of clinical practice in different settings. I think that’s our greatest strength as a team, that we’ve all been on the shop floor and on the road. I started out in A&E so I’ve come back circle. I practised respiratory nursing and the opportunity to apply that in an A&E setting was really appealing.”

Karen Frost, formerly a junior sister in the hospital's emergency assessment unit, said: “I wasn’t getting to use my experience in the job I was doing and I had reached the point of having to make a choice about my career path, either managerial or clinical. My heart lies with the patients. This job was the perfect opportunity to develop myself without moving away from patient care.”

Former paramedic and physiotherapist Harjot Singh said: “It’s a great opportunity for a paramedic to step up to the plate and work at the same level as colleagues with a more conventional nursing background. The chance to learn alongside medical and nursing staff was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. In my new role, I’m now starting where normally I’d have finished, so the learning curve has been phenomenal.”

The AAPs work during the busiest periods at A&E on a two-shift pattern. The creation of the team is one of a number of measures the hospital has taken in recent months in response to a sustained pressure on emergency services, including:

  • A new discharge suite where patients who are ready to leave hospital can wait while paperwork and prescriptions are processed and transport is arranged.
  • A new 10-bed resuscitation unit which doubled the emergency department’s capacity for its most seriously-ill patients 
Posted on Tuesday 9th May 2017
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