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Noticeboard

Please note from the 1st November 2018 telephone lines will be closed between 12:30  and 14:00 at Wateringbury Surgery.

Over the coming months you will notice your receptionist begin to ask for a brief outline of your problem when you ring to book an appointment.

This is because we are introducing something called "Care Navigation". It means we are training receptionists and clerical staff to help them help patients by identifying the most appropriate place for their care.

Through this specialist training, our practice team will be able to direct you to the most appropriate health clinician for your needs first.

Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; this new way of working is about offering you the choice to see more appropriate professionals in the practice team or even somewhere else. If they can deal with the problem directly, it will often be quicker and means you may not need to see the GP at all.

By working this way, it helps to free up time for GPs to care for patients with complex or serious health conditions that can only be managed by the GP. More importantly though, it means people are seen first by the clinician that is best placed to manage their clinical problem.

The choice is always yours though and you will never be refused a GP appointment but we hope next time you contact your GP and speak with the receptionist you will see the value of seeing another health professional if they are able to help.

If you would like someone to explain this to you in person, a member of our practice team will be happy to help.

Care navigation – Frequently asked questions

Why are reception staff asking me why I’m asking to see the doctor?

Practice receptionists in west Kent have been trained to become care navigators and will guide you to the most appropriate person for your need, which may not always be a GP. It means people are seen first by the health and social care professional that is best placed to manage their problem.

The qualified care navigators will ask for a brief outline of your problem when you ring to book an appointment to direct you to the right person.

Will care navigation prevent patients from seeing a GP?

Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; care navigation is about offering people the choice to see more appropriate professionals in the practice team or even somewhere else. If they can deal with the problem directly, it will often be quicker and means they may not need to see the GP at all.

Do I have to give details about my personal problems to the receptionist?

The choice is always yours. It is up to you whether you disclose details about your condition to the receptionist and you will never be refused a GP appointment but we hope next time you contact your GP and speak with the receptionist you will see the value of seeing another health professional if they are able to help.

If I am signposted to a service but would prefer to see a GP instead, can I do so?

Again, the choice is yours. Care navigation offers you more choice and gives you information about support services you may not have been aware of. Being signposted to another service may mean you can see someone more quickly and get the right support, without needing to see a GP.

However, if you would still like a GP appointment, our reception staff will arrange one.

Where will the receptionist direct me to?

Depending on who they think will be best placed to help you, our receptionists may advise you to see another member of our practice staff or signpost you to one of the following services:

How do the receptionists know where best to direct someone?

The care navigation training that receptionists receive has been designed by health and social care organisations working in west Kent, this includes district and borough councils and voluntary sector groups. The training enables care navigators to understand how to best support all of the patient’s needs – including helping them to prevent illness by leading a healthier lifestyle – and help them to access services in the practice and wider community.

Can I add another service to the list that care navigators signpost to?

The initial list of services that care navigators have been trained to signpost to have been chosen as they cover a wide range of health and social issues, have one phone number or email address for patients to use and cover the whole of west Kent.

There are plans to provide further training in 2019 and increase the number of services care navigators direct people to. If you have ideas about which services should be added, notify practice staff / or patient participation group (PPG).

If you would like someone to explain this to you in person, a member of our practice team will be happy to help.

 
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