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Care Navigation – to help patients get the right support, quickly

Across County Durham, all GP practices want to make sure their patients are seen quickly by the right healthcare professional for their problem.  We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly and sometimes may feel that the only person to help would be a GP.

Throughout June and July, our practice staff received specialist training developed by clinicians, to help them provide you with information about choices you have to see an appropriate person for your healthcare needs.  Sometimes a GP isn't the best person to see.  Within your GP practice for example a Practice Nurse (for matters including dressings, immunisations or ear syringes) may be better.  You could also be directed to a healthcare professional in the community such as a community pharmacist, optician or sexual health nurse.

When you contact your GP practice, the receptionists may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly.  They won’t try to diagnose your problem, but you may need to tell them a little about why you are calling.  Of course you do not have to, the choice is yours and you can always still request to see your GP, but you may be able to be seen faster by someone who is able to provide the right care for you using 'Care navigation' to help, without waiting to see a GP.

For further details please see the link below

Care Quality Commission


By law, all GP practices in England must make sure that the care and treatment they provide meet national standards of quality and safety.

We register GP Practices if they can show us that they are meeting these standards.  If GP practices are not registered with us, they will not be able to provide services.

We inspect GP practices to make sure they are meeting the national standards.  We can inspect a GP practice at any time if there are concerns about he care it provides.

What you can expect when a GP practice is meeting national standards of quality and safety:-

1. You can expect to be respected, involved and told what's happening at every stage of your care.

2. You can expect care, treatment and support that meets you needs.

3. You can expect to be safe.

4. You can expect to be cared for by staff with the right skills to do their jobs properly.

5. You can expect you GP practice to routinely check the quality of its services.

What to do if you think your GP practice is not meeting national standards:-

  • Raise your concerns with the GP practice, including making a formal complaint

If you have concerns about the care being provided by your GP practice, the first thing you should do is tell the practice manager.  If the problem cannot be solved, you can go through their formal complaints process. 

By law, every GP practice must have an efficient procedure for dealing the complaints.

  • Tell us about the matter

Our role as regulator does not give us the legal power to investigate or settle complaints, but we still want you to tell us about your experiences of care.  Your information is valuable to us.  It helps us decide when, where and what to inspect.

We also want to hear about good experiences of care.  the best way to get in touch with us is by filling in our 'Share your experience' form online at  


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