It is not always necessary to see a GP: a nurse practitioner, practice nurse, healthcare assistant or pharmacist may be more appropriate and for this reason our receptionists have now been trained to cover a more diverse role and will now be working in the Surgery as Care Navigators.
The purpose of this new role is to advise patients and carers about the sources of help and advice which are most relevant to their need. Active signposting is not a clinical consultation and it is not to make a diagnosis or plan treatment.
This new approach is not about denying our patients an appointment but actually using active signposting for precisely the opposite motive – to make it easier for people who need a GP to get an appointment, while shortening the time it takes to connect patients with the most appropriate person.
To help you make the correct appointment a Care Navigator will need to know a little about why you need an appointment. This is because the Care Navigators have a number of alternative types of appointments available to them, and they need to offer you the most appropriate appointment to deal with your problem. The most appropriate appointment may be with the GP for example, or perhaps with another member of the practice team.
Care Navigators already have extensive training and support to protect confidentiality and play their part in maintaining a safe service. Whatever you say will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
We very much hope that this system will make best use of the services available both at the practice and in the wider community, and by doing so indirectly increase the number of available GP appointments, so that you can more easily secure this when it is necessary.
We look forward to offering you an improved service.