One of the tasks for general practice, set by NHS England, is to train reception and other patient-facing staff to help patients find the most appropriate care when they ask for an appointment. It means patients are supported to access the right services if a GP or nurse is not the best way to resolve their health or social issues.
Why this emphasis?
Many people come to see their doctor for reasons which are not medical issues. It might be that their real problem is loneliness, debt or another personal worry, which is having a real affect on their life and health. So it is not a doctor they need to help them with their wellbeing, it may be financial advice, befriending or support from one of Norwich’s superb voluntary groups specialising in their area of concern.
Practice staff will be trained to help these people access these sort of services to resolve the problem, not just the symptoms. This is great for patients and helps our busy practices concentrate on medical issues that they are there for.
We expect this will roll out across Norwich during 2018.