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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

Carers Direct

Content Supplied by NHS Choices

Are You a Carer?

A carer is a person who looks after a relative, friend or neighbour who is finding life difficult to manage without help.  This may be because of illness, disability or old age.  The time spent caring ranges from a few hours per week to 24-hour attention.

What problems does this bring the carer?  

Lack of time for living their own lives

  • Competing demands of other responsibilities
  • Financial
  • Isolation
  • Stress
  • Resentment

Some or all of the following may be useful to contact:

  • Your GP (for help with those who are being cared for)
  • Durham County Carers Support (Tel: 0300 005 1213;  Text: 07624 818 403)
  • A Social Worker for possible help with things like home help, meals on wheels and respite care
  • A Welfare Rights Officer for advice about possible financial help

How can a carer help himself or herself?

In general, increasing the opportunities for self care.  This may take the following forms:

  • Sharing the caring, which makes time for the carer’s personal enjoyment.
  • Writing a “menu” of enjoyable activities which the carer can choose from when the opportunity arises.
  • Eating well.
  • Suitable physical activity.
  • Learning to relax and rest.
  • Developing a support network based on friends and family as well as using any of the contacts below.

Useful sources of information

Durham and Chester le Street Carers
Tel: 0191 387 1991

You may find the attached newsletter “Caring Matters”, from Durham County Carers Support, helpful. To access please click on the following link:
Caring Matters (Feb 2018)

Carers National Association
20/25 Glasshouse Yard

Carer’s line Tel: 0345 573369 (10.00 – 5.00 p.m. weekdays)
FAX: 020 7490 8824

Practice Carers Register

As part of the practice’s continued plans to improve our patient services we are working with Durham County Carers Support to identify and support carers.

The practice has developed a Carers’ Register to ensure that we provide the right services at the right time to carers.  This should ensure that you don’t have to repeatedly tell everyone about your caring responsibilities and that you have access to appropriate services and support.

Once you have identified that you are a carer and we have included you on our Register, you have the option to receive more information on services and support available from Durham County Carers Support.

Durham County Carers Support is a charitable organisation limited by guarantee.  They provide independent confidential advice, information, and support to careers.  They also provide a range of social events, excursions, and signposting to other organisations.

If you are a carer and would like to be included on our practice Carers Register, please telephone the surgery on 0191 374688.

If you would like more information on help available to carers, please inform reception staff or contact Durham County Carers Support directly on 0300 005 1213.

This service is independent from Social Services and at no time will any information be passed onto any other organisation without your consent.

There is a wealth of information on NHS Choices about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.

  • Caring for a parent

    Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home

  • Telling people

    Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.

  • Taking a break

    Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.

  • Housing and carers

    Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?

Contact Carers Direct

0808 802 0202
Helpline Information
Office Hours
Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.

Carers support groups

Finance and Law

Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.

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