She trained in her native Holland and has worked extensively in mental health services over two decades in nursing and managerial roles, latterly managing services for children and adolescents.
She said: 'I was ready for an adventure and decided to do something completely different. I wanted to return to a patient-facing role as I like the variety and pace. There has certainly been a need for this role as, even just one month in, I have a full caseload!'
Marijke works in Stamford and Bourne, liaising with Lakeside patients, practice staff, the health and wellbeing team, local charities and secondary care providers: 'If somebody contacts the surgery then I have a bit more time than a GP to find out what is going on.
This is a targeted approach and the idea is to take some of the load off clinical staff and offer longer appointment times and follow-up support for those who need it.
'Once a patient is referred we have an initial phone call and face to face assessment if necessary. Some patients may need self-help strategies and assessment after a couple of weeks, while others may need more complex care and referral. I am a link in the chain between local services, the practice and clinicians.
'My role is not only about helping patients who are struggling, but also to help people keep well with simple strategies including good nutrition, hydration and sleep, as a well as keeping to a routine, breathing exercises, physical activity or sport and making that they don't isolate themselves, so it is not just about talking but developing tools to help with anxiety or depression.
'I am really enjoying this role and the teams at Stamford and Bourne have been incredibly welcoming, friendly and helpful while I have got up and running. There is a lot of demand already and it is proving to be an interesting job.'