Care Navigation

What is Care Navigation?

Care Navigation offers individuals choice by providing information to help them access the support that is right for them. This will help patients to see the right person, to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time as efficiently as possible.

Why use Care Navigation?

  • To improve access to health and social care
  • To release doctors time to care for patients with long term conditions or complex needs
  • To improve the service provided by frontline staff in health services
  • To comply with national plans from the General Practice Forward View published in 2016

How does it work?

  • If you contact your practice you will speak to a receptionist
  • These receptionists will have been specifically trained to provide Care Navigation locally
  • The receptionists will ask for a brief outline of why you’re contacting them and will be able to offer
    potential choices regarding appropriate services
  • But it's YOUR choice, you can still request to see your GP if you wish
  • You may be provided with a choice in relation to an appropriate member of staff you can see within the practice
  • The choice may also involve an alternative service which can meet your needs e.g. community
    pharmacy, stopping smoking or sexual health
  • This is not clinical advice or triage
  • You do not have to accept the choice provided by the receptionist

 

Care Navigation Frequently Asked Questions

What is Care Navigation?

Care Navigation offers individuals choice by providing information to help them move through health and social care services and access the support that is right for them.

Care Navigation involves members of our GP practice teams being trained to support patients by signposting them to the most appropriate professional or service. This is being implemented to help patients ensure they receive the right care, first time and as efficiently as possible. This includes signposting you to a person or service within the practice as well as other NHS organisations, social care and in the community.

Care Navigation does not prevent you from seeing your GP and will only be offered in cases where the reason for an individual contacting the practice relates to one of the identified 'pathways’  . Examples of which are:

  • Community Pharmacy
  • Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)
  • Podiatry
  • Sexual health clinics

Do I have to accept the ‘Primary Care Navigation’?

No. Patients will still have the choice of whether to accept what is being offered through Care Navigation. A patient can still request to see their GP or another member of practice staff. A note that the offer of ‘Care Navigation’ was declined will be added to the patient’s record as part of our on-going quality and monitoring of the service.

What skills / training will the ‘Care Navigators’ have?

Active Signposting training has been developed to support the staff that will be delivering ‘Care Navigation’. This has involved face to face sessions with all members of staff involved to develop a safe and efficient approach. The team have been trained to identify when other services might be appropriate to offer and how to communicate these choices to the patient safely.

How will information about the appropriateness of Care Navigation signposting be tracked and monitored?

There will be regular reviews of the process as well as of the services offered. By recording outcomes we can audit the patient journey and continue to quality improve the service.  This will ensure information is based on up to date details and requirements and that we identify areas that might need development as well as to add to the services offered as they become available. 

What if the Care Navigator is unsure?

The purpose of the staff delivering Care Navigation is to help provide patients with a choice of appropriate services and not clinically triage them. If there is any doubt regarding the suitability of an alternative service or support for a patient then they would be directed to a member of staff within their General Practice in the first instance. The limited number of pathways that patients can be navigated through have been identified as being appropriate through engagement with general practice staff.

What if the receptionist makes the wrong decision?

Care navigators do not make clinical decisions. Based on the information that patients contact the surgery with and are requesting support with, the staff delivering Care Navigation can offer a choice of what is available. The patient can always choose whether to take up the offer that is provided or choose to see their GP if requested.