What is a Care Navigator?

Deben Health Group (DHG) has been supported through the NHS England “Releasing Time for Care Programme”.  This has helped colleagues from other practices to explore different ways of working that will improve how practices provide services, both directly to patients and “behind the scenes “.

Deben Health group has agreed that one of the most important areas to review is how patients are “signposted “ as efficiently as possible, to the right person in the practice, or in some cases to another medical professional outside of the practice . This has involved ALL receptionists being trained as Care Navigators to be able to have the right conversations with you, so that they can book you in with the best person to help you.  It will also mean that GP practices have more information about services outside of the surgery which will be able to help some patients with specific needs, perhaps better than people at the surgery can.

Care Navigation provides patients with a first point of contact which directs them to the most appropriate source of help. Receptionists acting as care navigators ensure our patients are booked with the right person the first time.

Reception staff are trained and have access to a directory of information about services, in order to help them direct patients to the most appropriate source of help or advice. This may include services in the community as well as within the practice.  DHG are currently using Suffolk InfoLink as our local directory for patients.

Benefits for practices: This innovation frees up Health Care Team time, releasing about 5 per cent of demand for clinical consultations in most practices. It makes more appropriate use of each team member’s skills and increases job satisfaction for receptionists.

Benefits for patients:

  • It is easier for patients to get an appointment with the GP when they need it, and shortens the wait to get the right help. Seen by the right person, thereby getting treated quicker
  • Improved understanding of their condition
  • Increased awareness of available services
  • Encourages positive behaviour change and self-care
  • Assists with the reduction of anxiety
  • Helps to improve the overall experience of health care

In order to make online appointments with a doctor you will need to register for the service. Please see reception for your logon and password. Nurse appointments should be booked through our receptionist.

Appointments can be made on-line via SystmOnline.

Appointments can also be made at reception or by telephoning our reception team during opening hours.

Appointments can be made up to four weeks in advance and we also have a number of appointments that are available to book on the day only.

Please let us know if you have any special requirement when making your appointment, including if you have caring responsibilities.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know as soon as you can so that we can offer it to another patient.

Care Navigators

Our care navigators are here to help you and co-ordinate appointments for the doctors and nursing team. They may ask you the reason for your appointment and they will treat information given in the strictest confidence.

Telephone Advice & Test Results

Test results are received electronically and arrive after 11am. Please telephone after 12 noon for your results to allow time for them to be checked by a doctor.

If you need clinical advice, please leave your contact details and the reason for your call with our receptionist. One of our clinicians will telephone you back.

Cancel Appointments

Please cancel your appointment as early as possible.

Appointments can be cancelled using our online system

Appointments can be cancelled using our automated service as long as the appointment is more than 30 minutes in the future.

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