Primary care is the first level of healthcare – people like your GP, the GP nurse, or NHS services like direct access physiotherapy, where you don’t need a GP to write you a referral to go. It is about 90% of the times people see a health professional – usually for either minor illnesses, routine care for things like asthma or preventative care like vaccines – or for referring you on to the right specialist in a hospital.
Great Question Blake. If you see Sarah’s answer below it’s really good. If you think about primary care – being like your primary school, its the first school that you go to so it might be the first place to go to get treatment. It can be you doctor or GP but it can also be about going to the pharmacist or chemist and asking for advice or to buy over the counter medications.
For me Blake primary care is the first response to your own personal emergency. Every one sees their own illness in a unique was. As Sarah and Laurence have stated it is the first line of help. Within the ambulance service we provide primary care too. This is usually an immediate response rather than booking a GP appointment but should be for the most life threatening situations only.
Most people don’t go to hospital first with their medical problem- some A&Es may feel differently! Only 10% of healthcare encounters happen in a hospital- 90% of healthcare contacts are with problems that don’t need a specialist doctor- seeing a GP, a Nurse, a Pharmacist, a Care Navigator helps to identify the best way to manage the problem first