What is Care Navigation ?
Care navigation is a tried and tested model of care that improves access to primary care services for patients and reduces GP pressures all in one. It allows front line staff to provide patients with more information about local health and well-being services, both within and outside of primary care, in a safe, effective way. Care navigation offers the patient choice to access the most appropriate service first which, as we know, isn’t always the GP. Patients could be seen and treated quicker by a nurse or a physiotherapist for example and in some cases, the GP practice might not be the right place at all for the query. That’s where ‘active signposting’ or care navigation as we call it comes in.
Care navigators can occupy many roles and play a crucial part in helping people get the right support, at the right time, to help manage a wide range of needs. Care navigators are receptionists and admin staff but through specialist training, they also possess additional skills and provide a crucial practice role in improving access to primary care. All with the aim of helping patients to get to the right service faster. So, for example, when a patient presents with symptoms that meet the access criteria for other services such as a physiotherapist, pharmacist, optician or third sector service, the care navigator can confidently offer these choices and enable the patient to go straight to the service which best meets their health and well-being needs.
What changes will you see ?
There will be very little change from a patient perspective in terms of access to seeing the GP of your choice. However, when you do call for an appointment please be aware that the receptionist may ask you a few questions before booking your appointment to ensure that you are seeing the correct clinician. If you would prefer not to disclose why you want the appointment then please state that it is a private matter. If this is the case please note that the GP will be aware that you did not want to disclose any information and when you come in for the appointment they may re-direct you to the correct service (if necessary) which could delay any treatment that may be needed.
Please note that all our receptionists have undertaken a full and accredited Care Navigation Training Programme and will be attending any courses for updates.