• 11Jan

    Care Navigators freeing up GP appointments

    Patients across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw’s GP practices are getting faster access to treatment thanks to a new ‘care navigator’ initiative from the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System.

    The initiative is freeing up GP appointments through training non-clinical practice staff to signpost to a range of local health and care services and which are most appropriate for different patients’ needs.

    The new scheme is freeing up GP appointments because other members of practice staff have been given training on the range of health and care services available locally and which are most appropriate for different patients’ needs.

    One of the 825 none clinical members of staff working in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw who has completed the Care Navigator training is Marie Wild, she is the Head Receptionist at the Chapel Green Practice in Sheffield. She says:

    “We signpost people to different services that might be more beneficial to them so they get the quickest and best care. For example, for people who have shoulder or back pain, we have a physio service we would signpost them to first rather than waiting to see a doctor who would then refer them to physiotherapy. Mums with young children who might have ailments like conjunctivitis might not be aware that the pharmacy can treat them for that and the prescriptions are still free.”

    As well as directing patients to different medical services, Care Navigators also help patients make positive choices to promote good health and emotional wellbeing. There are many non-medical schemes that help people’s overall wellbeing and existing conditions include things like walking groups, arts groups and lunch clubs or schemes that offer assistance to obtain advice for issues such as housing, benefits or debt management.