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.
Primary Care Navigation in County Durham involves members of our member general 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.
Most of our member general practices already operate their own ‘internal navigation’ to help ensure a patient is seen and treated by the most appropriate member within the practice. Care Navigation extends the range of options and choices an individual has about accessing the right support for them. The signposting involved in Care Navigation includes members of general practice staff as well as other NHS organisations, social care and support available in the community.
The purpose of Care Navigation is to help provide patients with a choice of appropriate services and not to 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 – typically a GP.
A short video introduction to Care Navigation is available online which has been produced locally.
What services are included?
Currently we have included the following external pathways:
- Stopping smoking
- Sexual health
- Community Pharmacy
- Citizens Advice Bureau (e.g. benefits and evidence claims)
- Well-being for Life support (e.g. weight loss)
- General practice services already provided by other members of staff, for example immunisations
- Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)
- Veterans health
- Dental services
- Extended Access – evening appointments in other hub practices
- Social Prescribing Link Worker (SPLW)
- Musculoskeletal (MSK) and First Contact Practitioner (FCP) – from Spring 2020
All of the Care Navigators have completed Communication and Resilience Soft Skills training. As part of the programme they have been asked by the practice management team and lead GP to ask for the reason of your call on the day, it’s simply to help to navigate to the most appropriate service within or outside of the practice.
The CCG is constantly working on developing reception staff on confidentiality, personal resilience and dealing with difficult situations.
Each practice should have a privacy area allocated in front of their reception desk. Equally in each practice there should be a separate room available to the care navigator to speak with patients in confidence if required.
GP telephone answer message
Most of our practices now have a telephone message on their answer phone to inform of the Care Navigation. For practices that do not have answer phone machines, those should have posters and displays in practice to inform patients about the principles of this programme.
Patients with hearing loss
Care Navigation is based on face to face and telephone contact with patients.
Hopefully information on this website will help to understand the reasons behind this programme.
More information about Care Navigation can be found via the links below.
Care Navigation Facts
In 2019 Healthwatch Durham undertook an independent evaluation of the Care Navigation programme. The full evaluation report can be found here.
Over 700 receptionists trained in 71 practices across County Durham on the following:
- Online accredited training
- Customer service training
- Personal resilience training
Throughout the project our predecessor CCGs collated general practice staff feedback, this included:
- Sense of achievement
- Positive Impact
- Improved confidence
Patient Feedback has also been measured and comments have included:
- “Very good service and helpful, polite reception staff.”
- “I was not sure who I should see; the receptionist helped.”
- “The chemist was excellent. I did not realise that they did so many things.”
Over nine months the total number of patients who took advantage of care navigation across the Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield areas was 117,845 amounting to 40% of the total GP registered population.
- 97% patients internally navigated within the surgery
- 2.9% patients externally navigated
- 22.8 % patients navigated to community pharmacy
Over nine months the total number of patients who took advantage of care navigation across the North Durham locality was 100,990 amounting to 41% of the total GP registered population.
- 98.1% patients internally navigated within the surgery
- 1.9% patients externally navigated
- 30.8 % patients navigated to community pharmacy
Links to other resources available about Care Navigation:
If you want to find out more about Care Navigation please contact us via email@example.com We would be happy to provide you with more information.