Conexus Healthcare – National consultancy and training programme on care navigation
In West Wakefield, calling a GP surgery involves a conversation which goes far beyond exploring when a doctor might next be available. In 2014, the area pioneered the care navigator role – giving receptionists the skills and information to advise on other health and social care services which might be most appropriate for a patient.
The success of the scheme is such that it’s now being rolled out nationally. For almost two years, Conexus Healthcare – a GP federation in Wakefield – has been helping introduce care navigation to surgeries across the country.
The team co-develops local models of care navigation and establishes access criteria. Conexus bring the clinical commissioning group together with local GPs, practice managers, receptionists, providers of services, public health, patient panels and business intelligence for this process.
Receptionists are then trained in the agreed approach via e-learning and face to face sessions. In total, Conexus is currently working with 40 CCGs or GP federations, which together cover 15 per cent of England’s patient population.
South Tees was the first CCG to which the model was rolled out, with staff at 22 practices receiving training. In the first four months of the new approach, 12,127 patients were signposted – in 27 per cent of cases to the practice nurse, reducing pressure on GPs. The signposting included Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services, meaning more patients were able to access mental health support without first having to see a GP.
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