About Care Navigation
Care navigation is a way for general practice staff to ensure patients are being directed to the most appropriate course of care through specially trained care navigators.
What are Care Navigators?
Care navigators are members of your GPs support staff who have been trained to help you get the right help from the right place. They will work with you to ensure that you are signposted to the right support at the right time.
They can direct you to the best member of the practice healthcare team to deal with medical issues and help connect you with the most appropriate service for any other support you might need such as employment and financial advice.
Care navigators will not offer any clinical advice, all medical concerns will be referred on to the practice healthcare team.
What are the benefits for patients?
Patients are more likely to see the right person the first time and may be seen sooner than they would have done if they were to see a GP. Care navigation allows patients to better understand their options and increases patient choice though a two way conversation with the care navigator.
A recent study by the NHS Alliance found that on average 27% of GP appointments were found to be potentially avoidable with many of these patients being better served by another member of the practice team.
By linking patients with the most appropriate care, care navigators can help to reduce the number of avoidable GP appointments releasing GP appointments for those patients most in need. Linking patients with other members of the practice team also results in reduce patient waiting times and faster access to care for patients.
What happens when I speak to a care navigator?
Care navigators understand the wide range of clinical skills available in their practice and what alternative health services are available in the local area as well as how to link patients with support for non-medical needs such as support for carers or financial advice.
They will ask you some basic questions about your current health problem or query and identify the most appropriate source of care.
Will my conversations with the care navigators be confidential?
Yes. All staff are trained in and uphold the same principles of confidentiality.
In Whitehill Surgery three of our receptionists have attended care navigator training and are equipped with the skills to link you with the most appropriate service.
On some occasions these care navigators you speak to may decide that they need to have a more in depth conversation with you to discuss the best course of action. They will arrange a 15 minute appointment at a time that works for you to talk to you in more detail about the support you need.