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'Care navigation' is being widely adopted in primary care, but in varying ways




National Institute for Health Research

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This NIHR Signal focuses on a study to explore how care navigation is being implemented by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England. Care navigation in primary care helps people with non-medical issues to access alternative services. This social prescribing also aims to reduce the pressure on general practice. The research surveyed CCGs in England about who provided care navigation, which types of patients were referred to care navigators and how, and whether this service was being evaluated. A total of 193 CCGs responded to the survey, with 162 provided usable data. The study shows that the role is fulfilled in different ways by people with a wide variety of job titles. This may make it harder for patients to understand what the role is and how it can help them. Only a third of CCGs who responded have assessed the use of care navigators or have plans to assess their impact. (Edited publisher abstract)

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