You will have noticed Dr. Waters’ voice speaking to you when you phone the surgery, informing you that the Partners at the surgery have asked the Receptionists to request further information from you about your reason for requesting an appointment.
This is part of a process called Care Navigation which Herefordshire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) have adopted for all the surgeries in Herefordshire to work with.
Care Navigation is a person-centred approach that uses signposting and information to help primary care patients and their carers move through the health and social care system as smoothly as possible to ensure that unmet needs are met.
It enables frontline staff (Receptionists) to provide you, the patient, with more information about local health and wellbeing services, both within and outside primary care (General Practice), in a safe, effective way
Care Navigation offers you ‘choice not triage’ to access the most appropriate service first which as we know, isn’t always the GP.
Care Navigators do not make clinical decisions
Does not require staff to make clinical decisions but supports staff in empowering patient choice
Enables patients to get the most appropriate service in a timely manner i.e. Pharmacy First
Ensures patients are booked with the right person first time, hopefully meaning only one visit is necessary rather than seeing a GP to be referred on to the Optician, or a local Pharmacy for your treatment.
Herefordshire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) has selected 6 services to start with:
Lets Talk (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)
Optician Referral (known as PEARS) – eye conditions, injury etc
Health Lifestyle Referral (stop smoking, exercise, weight management)
Adult Social Care
WISH (Wellbeing Information & Signposting in Herefordshire)
Our staff also have access to the West Midlands Directory of Services which is kept up to date by the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctor's appointment.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete's foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter.
Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
Your Local Pharmacist
Pharmacists offer professional free health advice at any time - you don't need an appointment. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses.They can answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. Your local Pharmacist can also advise on healthy eating.
Pharmacists can also advise on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking. Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest you visit your GP for more serious symptoms. It is possible to purchase many medicines from the chemist without a prescription.
Accident& Emergency (A&E)
Major A&E departments assess and treat patients who have serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness,
- pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia,
- acute confused state,
- persistent, severe chest pain, or
- breathing difficulties.
If you're injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to A&E. If an ambulance is needed you can call 999,the emergency phone number in the UK. You can also dial 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union.
Major A&E departments offer access 365 days a year and usually open 24 hours a day. Be aware that not all hospitals have an A&E department.