An evaluation of the quality of Emergency Nurse Practitioner services for patients presenting with minor injuries to one rural urgent care centre in the UK: a descriptive study

Authors

  • Joe McDevitt BSc, MSc, RGN,

    Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Corresponding author
    1. Urgent Care and Treatment Centre, Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh, UK
    • Correspondence: Joe McDevitt, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Urgent Care and Treatment Centre, Tyrone County Hospital, Hospital Road, Omagh, County Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT79 0AP. Telephone: 00353749522918.

      E-mail: joe.mcdevitt@hse.ie

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  • Vidar Melby BSc, DPhil, MPhil, RGN, RNT, PGCTHE

    Senior Lecturer
    1. School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Magee Campus, Derry, UK
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  • The term ‘minor injury’ will encompass both ‘minor injuries’ and ‘minor illnesses’ throughout.

Abstract

Aims and objectives

To evaluate the quality of the emergency nurse practitioner service provided to people presenting to a rural urgent care centre with minor injuries. The three objectives that were focused were an evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of the emergency nurse practitioner service, an assessment of patients' satisfaction with the emergency nurse practitioner service and a determination of factors that may enhance the quality of the emergency nurse practitioner service.

Background

Urgent care centres have become increasingly prevalent across the UK. Emergency nurse practitioner services at these rural urgent care centres remain largely unevaluated. This study attempts to redress this deficit by evaluating the quality of an emergency nurse practitioner service in relation to the care of patients presenting with minor injuries to a rural urgent care centre.

Design

This descriptive study used a case-note review and a survey design with one open-ended exploratory question.

Methods

Patient views were collected using a self-completed questionnaire and a data extraction tool to survey patients' case notes retrospectively.

Results

Despite comparatively low total length-of-stay times, most patients felt they had enough time to discuss things fully with the emergency nurse practitioner. Although emergency nurse practitioners routinely impart injury advice, feedback from some patients suggests a need for the provision of more in-depth information regarding their injury. The vast majority (97·3%) of patients felt that the quality of the emergency nurse practitioner service was of a high standard. Contrary to some other studies, the findings in this study indicate that patient satisfaction is not influenced by waiting times.

Conclusions

Emergency nurse practitioners in rural urgent care centres have the potential to deliver a safe and effective quality service that is reflected in high levels of patient satisfaction.

Relevance to clinical practice

This study provides some evidence to support the continued expansion of the emergency nurse practitioner service in rural settings in the UK.

Ancillary