NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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Day 5: Care Navigation

Empowering patients by navigating care

Chapelgreen Practice (Burncross Surgery and High Green Health Centre) have introduced a new care navigation system for 2017. The CCG has provided both online and face-to-face training citywide for staff, with the aim of rolling out the service further across the city.

This new telephone service puts patients through to fully-trained receptionists, who are able to point them towards the best and quickest service for their specific health needs.

Through the new system, receptionists are able to advise whether patients can access healthcare directly (through opticians, pharmacies, nurses, family services, support groups etc.) without having to see a GP first. This means that as well as patients receiving the care they need more quickly, the care navigation system aims to reduce GP waiting times, for when seeing a GP is the appropriate course of action.

Additional training sessions organised by the Practice with support from Clinicians, Partners and Senior Staff have enabled receptionist to confidently signpost patients. Kathy Peasegood, Deputy Manager of Chapelgreen Practice, said: ‘We have received a positive response from patients and we are passionate about improving the service based on patient and staff comments as we move forward. One of the most positive outcomes has been building better relationships with patients, who no longer see receptionists as a barrier to accessing healthcare, but as facilitators.’

Reducing GP waiting times

Both Blake Foster (Practice Manager) and Dr Caroline Mills (GP Partner) explained that the new system, which has been custom-made and has evolved with the help of staff and patient feedback, is currently freeing up at least one session (half a day of appointments) a week – and this is only the beginning.

Julie Swinburn, Receptionist Supervisor, also commented: ‘as we share more advice and knowledge with patients, we hope we can ensure everyone continues to make the right choice when they’re feeling unwell. Increasing the knowledge around possible alternatives will make a huge difference for everyone involved.”

For more information on how care navigation works, you can watch the video from West Wakefield Health & Wellbeing Ltd.

You can also visit the Chapelgreen Practice website.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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