You may have noticed that when you ring for an appointment the receptionist now asks you why.
Virtually everyone who calls a GP surgery to make an appointment asks to see to a GP, but very often help will be available more quickly from other highly skilled medical professionals such as nurses or pharmacists, or from other services, including the voluntary sector, who can support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs.
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 wellbeing services, both within and outside of primary care, in a safe, effective way. It is about offering patients choice and help to access the most appropriate service first which is not always the GP. It means that patients will find it easier to get a GP appointment when they need one.
Care Navigators are receptionists and admin staff who have been given specialist training to help them direct patients to the most suitable option for their care needs.
Helping you to get the right care, at the right time, from the right person.
For example, when a patient presents with symptoms that could be dealt with by another service such as a pharmacist or optician, patients can be confidently offered these choices, allowing them to go straight to the service which best meets their health and wellbeing needs. Saving you time.
In partnership with our award winning Patient Participation Group and colleagues at Guideposts, reception staff have been given specialist training and access to directories of information about services, in order to help direct patients to the most appropriate source of help or advice. This may include services in the community as well as within the practice.
If you don’t want to answer the questions which the receptionists ask, you are not obliged to do so. Equally if offered an alternative care choice to a GP appointment, you can decline and still request a GP appointment.
According to NHS England data, compared to other surgeries in Warwickshire, Whitestone Surgery’s patients benefit from some of best patient access to healthcare and support from allied local services. By accepting the navigation to another source of help, you can continue to make sure that those people who really need to see a GP can see them as soon as possible.