Currently when you contact the surgery to make an appointment, the receptionist will ask you for brief details of the reason for the appointment.
This is under the instruction of the GPs and helps to make sure that each patient is dealt with in the most appropriate manner and is seen by the clinician who is able to deal with their needs most appropriately.
Receptionists have now received additional training in order to enhance their ability to identify the most appropriate source of care and enable them to offer patients the choice of accessing external services, free of charge, via self-referral.
About Care Navigation
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.