This provides patients with a first point of contact which directs them to the most appropriate source of help. Web and app-based portals can provide self-help and self-management resources as well as signposting to the most appropriate professional. Receptionists acting as care navigators can ensure the patient is booked with the right person first time.
Reception staff are given training and access to a directory of information about services, in order to help them direct patients to the most appropriate source of help and advice. This may include services in the community as well as within the practice.
Benefits for practices: This innovation frees up GP time, releasing about 5 per cent of demand for GP consultations in most practices. it makes more appropriate use of each team member's skills and increases job satisfaction for receptionists.
Benefits for patients: It is easier for patients to get an appointment with the GP when they need it and shortens the wait to get the right help.