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What is Care Navigation?




Helping you find your way around the health system

All fifteen Portsmouth GP practices are introducing a new scheme which should help patients see the most appropriate healthcare professional faster.

Around 230 practice staff across the city, including a number of receptionists, have externally trained to become care navigators.

They won’t offer you clinical advice – but will help signpost you to the most appropriate health service for your needs, as the GP isn’t always the best person to see or the route for getting the most appropriate care faster.

Dr Linda Collie, a city GP and the clinical lead for NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, which has paid for the staff training, said: “We know that it’s not always easy trying to navigate local health services to find out who is best placed to help you for a particular health problem or concern.

“Care navigators have access to a directory of information about services to point patients to the most appropriate source of help, advice and support.

“On many occasions, a GP might not be the most suitable person for the patient to speak to or see. Patients can often be seen much quicker by a nurse or physiotherapist for example. In some places, a GP practice may not even be the right place for an enquiry.

“The next time that you make an appointment at your practice, you may be asked some questions about the reason for your appointment.

“Don’t be offended by this – it’s simply so that the care navigator can ensure that you see the person best suited to help you. We want you to see the right person, first.

“You don’t have to do this. The care navigator is not being nosy, and will respect both your privacy and your right to say ‘no.’

“But the care navigators will play an important role in not only help you to access faster healthcare, but also ensuring that GPs can dedicate most of their time to those patients who most need their help.”

What is care navigation?

Across Portsmouth, we are working hard to ensure that when people need to see a GP, they have access to one quickly and in a way that suits them, be that in person, over the phone or using the online consultation service.

Sometimes though, the GP isn’t really the best person to see. Patients could be seen and treated quicker by a nurse or a pharmacist for example and in some cases, the GP practice might not be the right place at all for the query. That's where care navigation comes in.

Care navigation supports practices and patients to make the best use of valuable NHS resources.

It is a tried and tested model of care that improves access to primary care services for patients and reduces GP pressures.

It allows front line staff to provide patients with more information about local health and wellbeing services, both within and outside of primary care, in a safe, effective way. It is about offering patients choice and help to access the most appropriate service first. It means that other patients will find it easier to get a GP appointment when they need one. Care navigators are receptionists and admin staff who have been given specialist training to help them direct patients to the right health professional first time.

How it works

When a patient contacts the practice for an appointment, the care navigator will ask for a brief outline of the problem so they can identify the patient’s need. This will allow the care navigator to refer to information about services in the practice, other NHS providers and the wider care and support sector. Where appropriate, they will direct the patient to these services

You won’t be asked to divulge any personal or confidential information and you can refuse of course, the option is yours and you will never be refused a GP appointment. Please be assured that if you need to see a GP, you will get to see a GP.

Care navigators will never try to diagnose your problem or offer you clinical advice; this new way of working is about offering you the choice to see other health professionals who will be more appropriate than the GP, and who may often be able to see you quicker and easier.

Their goal is to ensure that patients get the right care at the right time in the right place with the right outcome. For example, when a patient presents with symptoms that would be better dealt with by another service such as a pharmacist or optician, patients can be confidently offered these choices, allowing them to go straight to the service which best meets their health and wellbeing needs.

Our Surgeries

St Cuthbert’s Church
Hayling Avenue
Portsmouth
PO3 6BH
Tel: 023 9282 7132
Fax: 023 9282 7025

Milton Park Surgery
Milton Road
Portsmouth
PO3 6DW
Tel: 023 9282 7132
Fax: 023 9282 7025

Your Doctors Surgery in Portsmouth

Located in a central location with ample parking.


Location & Contact

Baffins Surgery
St Cuthbert’s Church
Hayling Avenue
Portsmouth
PO3 6BH
Tel: 023 9282 7132
Fax: 023 9282 7025

Opening Hours

Monday: 07.00 – 19.00
Tuesday: 08.00 – 18.30
Wednesday: 08.00 – 18.30
Thursday: 08.00 – 20:00
Friday: 07.00 – 18.30

Location and Contact

Milton Park Surgery
Milton Road
Portsmouth
PO3 6DW

Tel: 023 9282 7132
Fax: 023 9282 7025

Opening Hours

Monday: 08.00 – 18.30
Tuesday: 08.00 – 18.30
Wednesday: 08.00 – 18.30
Thursday: 08.00 – 18.30
Friday: 08.00 – 18.30