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How Havering Health is speeding up health care services and making it easy for you to get the treatment you need

PUBLISHED: 12:20 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:13 20 November 2019

The new Care Navigation system aims to make it easy for you to find the help you need in one phone call. Picture: Getty Images/ dusanpetkovic

The new Care Navigation system aims to make it easy for you to find the help you need in one phone call. Picture: Getty Images/ dusanpetkovic

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We've all been there, calling our local surgery in the morning, hoping we might be able to secure a same day doctor's appointment.

A doctor may not always be the best person for you to see. Picture: Getty ImagesA doctor may not always be the best person for you to see. Picture: Getty Images

It's no secret that general practitioners' (GP's) waiting times are ever-growing, nationally. The new Care Navigation system recently launched across most Havering GP surgeries should make it easier for you to get the care you need, faster. We spoke to Chantel Smith, project manager at Havering Health to understand how the new system will benefit you.

What is the new Care Navigations service?

The Care Navigations system is a new way of booking appointments. Instead of speaking to a receptionist to make an appointment with your GP, you'll speak with a specially trained operator.

A specially trained operator will direct you to the best health care service for your needs. Picture: Getty ImagesA specially trained operator will direct you to the best health care service for your needs. Picture: Getty Images

They will assess your symptoms and the reason for your call and point you in the direction of the appropriate health care professional or service best suited to your needs - whether that's a GP, pharmacist, therapist or other health and well-being services.

The frontline staff will be able to offer you more information about your local health and well-being services, helping you save time and make use of the resources that are available.

"Care navigation is a tried and tested model of care that improves access to primary care services for patients and reduces GP pressures all in one," said Chantel. "The new system will help patients and their carers move through the health and social care system as smoothly as possible."

I want to see my doctor sooner

"The new system will mean you can access a more appropriate service first without the need to wait for a GP appointment," said Chantel. "It will also help free up more GP appointments."

A doctor may not always be the best person for you to see. The new system will find you the best care straight away. For example, this will help patients with mental health issues access help when they need it most and give them the support they need to monitor their mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Relieving the pressure on your local surgery

The new Care Navigation system could mean the difference between one appointment and two. You won't have to wait to get a referral from your GP to be sent on to the service you need.

"Fewer appointments will be used ineffectively and more time can be spent with those with long term conditions," said Chantel. "This will help improve your experience and increase patient satisfaction. You will have access to the right person, providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time."

How the new system works

You'll call your local surgery to book an appointment just as you normally would. The specially trained operator will ask why you've called, gather details of your symptoms and explain what your options are.

You'll still be able to book a doctor's appointment if you'd prefer or if not you'll be able to make one with an alternative service that may be better suited to your needs.

The new Care Navigation system aims to make it easy for you to find the help you need in one phone call. The highly trained staff will be able to point you in the right direction and offer you access to all the healthcare and wellbeing services in your local area.

If you have any questions about the new service call 01708 726 145 or email admin@haveringhealth.co.uk. Visit haveringhealth.co.uk for more information or speak with your local surgery to find out if they are involved in the initiative and when it will be available.

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