Care Navigation makes sure you get to the right person to provide you with the appropriate care.

We know that every appointment and contact with the NHS matters. That’s why reception staff might ask about your issue – to get you to the help you need fast.

What it means

Care Navigation is a relatively recent approach in the NHS. 

It aims to increase patient wellbeing, better use resources within the health service, and to reduce unnecessary GP appointments.

Staff in GP practices have always ‘signposted’ patients towards certain types of support or services, but Care Navigation is a step beyond that.

In many cases it is still Reception or Clerical Staff doing the work, but additional training gives them a wealth of knowledge of what is available, and the skills to connect with the patient. 

Active listening, emotional intelligence asking questions and giving feedback all build trust, and encourage patients to take an active role in managing their own health.

How it works

Care Navigators have access to an expansive directory of services. 

This is anything from getting advice from another staff member within the practice, to linking a patient up with a community organisation, and everything in between.

Their training gives them an understanding of each service, and the skills to explain to a patient how it might benefit them.

Patients can still choose how their care might progress, but Care Navigations means they make that decision from a position of knowledge.

How it helps

In line with its multiple aims, Care Navigation naturally has more than one outcome.

With the ability and the facts to make informed decisions, patients become more empowered to take control of their own care.

Reception and Administrative staff are also upskilled and empowered to take a more proactive role in managing both patients’ care and the workload of their practice.

This inevitably leads to better use of time and resources. Early adopters of Care Navigation have reportedly freed up 5% of GP time*, increasing the availability of appointments for those who need them.

* Study in West Wakefield, Yorkshire<


Staff in GP practices across Durham Dales have been trained in Care Navigation.