What is care navigation?

Care navigation gives people options to access the care and information which best meets their health and social care needs. This helps them to be seen by the right person, at the right place and at the right time.

Care navigation creates an opportunity for a person-centred conversation. It encourages patients and carers to make an informed choice on how to best manage their own health and wellbeing.

Why is care navigation important?

Implementing care navigation makes best use of appointments and resources within GP practices. Practice Administartive Staff Collaborative (PASC) phase 1 teams identified that developing the skills of practice administrative staff leads to an increase in job satisfaction, morale and confidence.

Care navigation also builds and strengthens relationships between GP practices and other organisations and services outwith the GP practice.

My day job has changed because it’s quite satisfying knowing that I have helped somebody to see the right person." Sharon Kerr, Patient Advisor, Biggar Health Centre

The benefit for people needing care is that they can be seen by the most appropriate person at the right time. 

Being offered an appointment with the nurse practitioner was really good as they were able to do something there and then so I wouldn’t have to book another appointment later which is just a waste of everyone’s time." A patient at Medwyn Medical Practice

For care navigation to be implemented effectively a whole GP practice approach is essential. This enables trained practice administrative staff to follow locally-developed principles – giving patients access to safe, efficient and effective information.

Our improvement toolkit provides information and guidance on how to plan, test and implement care navigation.


The motion graphic below provides further information on the work of care navigation: