The NHS can be a big and complex web, and it’s not always easy to know what services there are, let alone how to access them.
That’s where Care Navigation comes in. Reception and Administrative staff can undergo extra training to help you navigate your way through health and social care services.
Right person, right time, first time
We already use ’Internal navigation’ to make sure you’re seen by the right staff member within the practice. That’s why Reception staff may ask about your issue when you book an appointment.
Care Navigation takes this further by offering patients choice about the services available to them, and helping them access their preferred options.
For example, if you have a minor ailment, you might be better served seeing a local Pharmacist rather than waiting to see a Doctor.
You might also see a Social Prescribing Link Worker – a new role in the NHS who discuss and assess patients’ non-clinical needs, and link them to the best support services. It could be a stop smoking clinic or maybe an organisation like Citizens Advice.
It’s about showing you all of the options, and giving you a choice. If you decide not to take any of them up, then of course you can still see your GP. It’s up to you.
Care Navigation has benefits to the practice too, as well as to patients. Not everyone needs to see a Doctor, so when someone chooses an alternative to a regular GP appointment, that slot remains open for another patient who needs it.