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. 'Care navigators' can play a crucial role in helping you to get the right support, at the right time to help manage a wide range of needs. This will help you see the right person, to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time as quickly as possible.

Why use Care Navigation?

  • Care navigation is a tried and tested model of care that improves access to primary care services for patients and helps to take pressure off access to general practice
  • It is about offering patients choice and help them to access the most appropriate services first
  • To improve the service provided by frontline staff in general practice

How does it work?

  • When you contact Hope Farm Medical Centre you will speak to a member of our Patient Services Team
  • The Patient Services Team members will have been specifically trained to provide Care Navigation locally
  • The team members will ask for a brief outline of why you’re contacting them and will be able to offer potential choices regarding the most appropriate services for you
  • But it's YOUR choice, and you will not be prevented from seeing a 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 services
  • Care navigation does not provide clinical advice or triage

Care Navigation frequently asked questions

Why are you introducing Care Navigation at Hope Farm Medical Centre?

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 Patient Services Team being trained to support patients by offering them 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 recommending 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:

In practice roles & services

  • GP
  • Advanced Nurse Prescribers
  • Practice Nurses
  • Healthcare Assistants
  • Practice Pharmacist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Care Coordinator
  • Wellbeing Coordinator
  • Social Prescribing Link Worker
  • Physiotherapist
  • Phlebotomy

Other NHS organisations, social care and community

  • Community Pharmacy
  • Emergency Dentist
  • Optometry
  • Sexual health clinics
  • Health visitors
  • Community Care Team
  • Carers Trust
  • Extended Hours

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.

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

In-depth training has been developed to support the Patient Services Team in 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.

What if the receptionist makes the wrong decision?

Care navigators do not make clinical decisions. Based on the information that patients contacting the medical centre 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.