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Care navigation – New initiative in GP practices

The Primary Care Foundation reports around 18% of people that book an appointment with their GP could be more appropriately helped by a different professional in the practice team or within the community such as a Pharmacist or Optician.

Many GP practices will now be asking the reason people want an appointment with a GP to see if there is an alternative choice, which may speed up how quickly patients are seen and release GP time to deal with more complex cases.

GP practices have been working together with a number of community teams to develop care navigation pathways so a person has the choice of an alternative to a GP appointment.

Fiona Lowe, Chief Officer of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee says “this is a  great opportunity for GP practices and pharmacies to work together to help people self-care for minor illnesses such as sore throats and colds by making use of their local pharmacies and relieving pressure on GP practices”

Dr Mike Hearne, Medical Director from Taurus Healthcare – Herefordshire’s GP Federation said “many people aren’t aware how GPs are part of a much wider team. Nurses, healthcare assistants, pharmacists and the rest of the team can often be the best person to see, often available more quickly. Care navigation helps people receive the right care at the right time and enable practice staff to ensure that the right person is available”.

Care Navigation will give you the most appropriate care, from the most appropriate person, at the most appropriate time.