Service Improvements – Important Information on Changes Coming Soon

On Wednesday 10th January 2018 we are introducing some improvements to the way you access services at Green Elms Medical Centre. A national programme called Care Navigation, is being introduced across the country, and there will be some changes to ensure you are able to get the most appropriate medical service for your specific needs, as quickly as possible.

Care Navigation is a process that has been designed by doctors and other clinical staff to ensure that patients are supported to access the right service for their needs. It involves trained staff called ‘Care Navigators’ to ask patients, requesting an appointment, a few questions to ensure that they get the right service for them. For example, if a patient needs to see a specialist nurse or other healthcare service, and it is not necessary for them to see the GP first, they can be referred directly and the Care Navigator will make sure this happens – saving the patients’ and the doctors’ time.

Our new telephone system and control centre will also be launched at the same time as Care Navigation, providing a number of extra lines and a call queuing system which will improve your ability to get through to someone on the phone, especially at busy times. From Wednesday 10th January 2018, please phone your surgery, as usual, when you need to book an appointment.

You will no longer be able to book a new appointment with the receptionist at the practice as all patients will need to speak to a Care Navigator first to ensure they are directed to the best service for their needs.

Please see below, answers to frequently asked questions on the next page for more information on why we are making these changes and what this means for how you book an appointment.

Will I be able to get through on the phone?

We are launching a state-of-the-art telephone control centre called a Navigation Hub on Wednesday 10th January with over 30 new lines, a call queuing system and Care Navigators who are dedicated to answering your call. You may experience a wait during busy times, so please bear with us until we are able to answer your call.

Will my information remain confidential and secure?

Your information is going to remain confidential and secure. The only change is how we manage your information. Staff currently working across all ACE surgery sites will be able to access your information when required to support your care. This could be to book an appointment or check results. Anytime your information is accessed, an audit trail is created and only staff who have been granted the relevant level of access will be able to view your information. If at any time you have concerns about how your information is being used, you can raise this with a member of staff. We will investigate to ensure your rights are not being breached and take any necessary action required as outlined in the Data Protection Act 1998.

For more information on your rights under Data Protection you can visit the Information Commissioner’s Website at

Why is this being introduced?

Too many people can’t see a doctor when they really need to and too much of each doctor’s time is spent seeing patients that could be seen equally well by another service or professional. Care Navigation will support us to ensure that patients see the right professional first time.

Are Care Navigators qualified to decide the best care for someone?

Our Care Navigators will use clinically developed software to guide each patient to the best professional or service to meet their needs. This software has been developed with doctors to ensure that it is clinically safe. It has been carefully tested to ensure that all risk factors are identified in the process. After speaking to the Care Navigator, they may feel the best option for you is to speak to a clinician on the telephone, if that is the case they will arrange for a doctor or a senior nurse to call you back as soon as possible.

How can I book an appointment from Wednesday 10th January?

To book an appointment just call your practice any time between 8am and 6.30pm and speak to a Care Navigator who will ask you a few simple questions about why you need an appointment.

You will not be able to book a new appointment at reception from Wednesday 10th January. If you are unable to phone us from home, please speak to one of our receptionists at the surgery who will be able to support you by calling our control centre from the surgery.