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 GP 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 GP 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 to members of GP 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 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.
What services are included?
Initially we are looking at seven pathways being included;
- Stopping smoking
- Sexual health
- Community Pharmacy
- Citizens Advice Bureau (e.g. benefits and evidence claims)
- Well-being for Life support (e.g. Weight loss)
- Minor Eye aliments (in place from Winter 2018)
- GP practice services already provided by other members of staff, for example immunisations.