Healthcare Roles and Settings

Doctors (GP)

Doctors (GP) provide medical care for patients. They work mainly in surgeries and local communities. They:  

  • Diagnose, treat and prevent illness. 

  • Provide prescriptions for treatments such as flu immunisation. 

  • Refer patients to health professionals, such as specialist doctors and therapists. 

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Specialised Doctors

Specialised Doctors have expert training in particular areas. They work mainly in hospitals and clinics. They: 

  • Diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent illness in specialist's areas such as Cardiology (Heart), Oncology (cancer), Paediatrics (children) and Geriatrics (elderly). 

  • Liaise with other professionals, such as nurses, to carry out treatment in hospital. 

  • Contribute to teams for ongoing patient care. 

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Nurses -  are trained to carry out medical duties at their level of seniority and specialism, mainly in hospitals critical care nursing, cardiac nursing, surgical care and oncology nursing. Nurses: 

  • Moniter and car for the daily chronic and acute medical needs of patients. 

  • Support doctors in giving treatment and prescribed drugs. 

  • Work to restore health and wellbeing. 

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Midwifes work mainly in hospital maternity units, clinics and homes. Midwives are trained to support mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and the first 28 days of a baby’s life. They: 

  • Monitor the prenatal development and health of mothers and babies. 

  • Help deliver babies. 

  • Provide postnatal care, supporting mothers, babies and families after birth. 

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Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare Assistants are trained to help with daily personal care and support wellbeing. They work mainly in hospitals, clinics, residential care and homes. They: 

  • Work under the guidance of qualified professionals, such as nurses or doctors. 

  • Meet care needs, such as washing, toileting, making beds, feeding and mobility. 

  • Monitor health by taking temperature pulse respiration rate and weight. 

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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy facilitate recovery and overcome practical barriers. They work mainly in hospitals, clinics, residential care and homes. They: 

  • Identify issues people may have in everyday life, such as with dressing, shopping or working. 
  • Help people to work out practical solutions. 
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GP Surgeries and local health centres

GP Surgeries and local health centres: Patient go here first when they need medical advice. Doctors diagnose the patient's illness. They may issue a prescription for medicine or refer patients to other services. Nurses might carry out treatment or health screening, or take blood tests. 

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Hospitals: Patients go here for treatment that a GP cannot give. It is where operations are carried out, and Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments and some walk-in centres are located. Patients are referred by their GPs to specialist medical teams. Specialist doctors (consultants) may issue a prescription for specialist medication or refer patients to surgeons for operations. 

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  1. Clinics: patients go here to be treated for specific medical conditions. Patients are referred by their GPs to specialist clinics based in hospitals and in the community. Trained personnel, including doctors and nurses, work in clinics. 


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Home: where care is provided for housebound people or those recovering from medical treatment such as an operation. Most people prefer to recover t home and some who are dying prefer to be nursed at home. Care may be provided at home for births. Patients are treated at home by community-based nursing and midwifery staff. Doctors carry out home visits when necessary. 

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