Patient Care Navigation or Signposting, as you may also hear it called, allows us to help patients get the most appropriate source of help or advice, as quickly as possible. You may wonder why this is something new. The significance of this is that the most appropriate help or advice may not always be provided by a doctor.
It is becoming more widely recognised that there are many other health professionals and specialists who can help with medical problems. In addition, we have many policies and procedures within the practice and patients cannot possibly be expected to know them all. Sometimes an appointment with a doctor is not necessary to do the things you need to do.
In order to allow us to navigate you to the most appropriate help reception staff will ask each patient who requests an appointment with a doctor the reason they are asking for the appointment, as they currently do for nursing appointments.
Why are we gathering information?
Reception staff are members of the practice team and are asked to collect this information by the doctors. By having this information it:
- help doctors prioritise house visits and phone calls
- ensure that all patients receive the appropriate level of care
- direct patients to see the nurse or other health professional or specialist rather than a doctor, where appropriate
Please be assured that reception staff will not be providing clinical advice. They will be asking for information and may advise you on another health professional or specialist who could help with your problem. They may also advise on procedures at the practice. For example, many patients do not realise that you do not need to have an appointment with a doctor in order to ask for a prescription or sick line.
Looking for more privacy?
All staff members are bound by strict confidentiality rules. Should you wish more privacy you can ask to speak to a member of staff in private away from the reception desk or if you feel your issue is personal and do not wish to provide details then this will be respected.
Other people who can help you
Some of the other health professionals and specialists who can help you are detailed below:
Dentist: Any teeth or mouth problems should be seen by a Dentist. They have specialist knowledge and equipment and many can prescribe.
Optician: Any eye problems should be seen by an Optician. They have specialist knowledge and equipment and many can prescribe.
Pharmacist: Can deal with - coughs, colds, sore throats, urine infection, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, emergency contraception, warts and verrucae, thrush, piles, hayfever, smoking cessation.
Podiatrist: Deal with heel and foot pain, painful nails, corns. Please collect a referral form from reception.
Physiotherapist: Deal with muscle or joint problems.
Midwife: Midwives can help with any pregnancy related issues or questions.
Mental Healthcare Team: The Samaritans or Breathing Space are there for you to talk to or if you have emergency concerns about your own mental health or that of a close friend/family you can contact the Mental Health Assessment Service (MHAS).
Social Care Direct: You can contact the team if you have concerns about the safety of an adult or child at risk of harm. If you need help due to illness, frailty or disability. If you are a carer and have concerns about the person you care for.
Drug and Alcohol Problems Team: There are drop in clinics in Clermiston, Muirhouse and South Queensferry.
Please see the NHS Inform Health Information section on the right for further information.