Care Navigation - What it means to you as a patient?
The GP Forward View identified 10 High Impact Changes that GP Practices could adopt to help release capacity for their doctors and allow them more time with their patients. Active Signposting is one of the 10 High Impact Changes. Across NHS Northamptonshire CCG practices will be implementing the “Care Navigation Training Programme” and we will be training receptionists and clerical staff; this will help them to help patients identify the most appropriate place for their care.
Over the coming months you will notice your receptionist asking you for a brief outline of your problem when you call to make an appointment.
Through this specialist care navigation training, the practice teams will be able to offer you more choice on who the best health care clinician may be in their practice and also help direct you to get to the right health clinician fast. Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; this new way of working is about offering the choice to see other specialists in the practice team. If they have the expertise to deal with the problem; it will often be quicker and you may not need to see the GP each time.
For example, medication reviews or queries could be managed by a community pharmacist and you may not be aware of if you haven’t visited the practice in a while.
By working this way, it helps to free up time for GPs to care for patients with complex or serious health conditions that can only be managed by the GP. More importantly though, it means people are seen by the clinician that is best placed to manage your clinical problem. The choice is always yours though and you will never be refused a GP appointment but we hope that next time you contact your GP and speak with the receptionist you will see the value of seeing another health clinician if they are able to help.