An award-winning anniversary for Confederation’s care navigation programme

Our online learning centre is where the care navigators of tomorrow complete their accredited care navigation training.

As well as being part of the wider multi award-winning care navigation consultancy programme, the learning centre recently celebrated it’s first birthday – and boy, have we come a long way in just a year.

Over 5,500 accredited learners from around 1,100 GP practices across England and Wales!

This month, we chat to David Cowan, Conexus Healthcare’s care navigation lead and Russell Houghton, performance and improvement manager about the platform and it’s learners.

So David, just remind us how the online learning centre came about

The learning centre’ was launched in April 2017 to provide access to the training module for our care navigation programme which I lead on. It works in two stages.

Learners come along to the face to face workshops delivered by either myself or my lovely colleague, Janis – who was in fact a practice manager in the North East and one of the very first people to implement Conexus Healthcare care navigation outside of Wakefield.

At the face to face training, we tend to see a mixture of practice managers, receptionists and anyone else with a patient-facing role in the practice.

Learners also need to complete the online training and quiz which is the final part required for accreditation and it roughly takes around 30 minutes to complete.

And how is the online learning centre performing, Russell?

It’s been received really well and to date, over 5,500 learners have become accredited care navigators with a further 1,500 learners set to finish their online training in the next couple of months. All our learners complete an evaluation following the online training, and this data is equally impressive with:

  • Over 98% agreeing that they understand what care navigation is
  • Over 96% agreeing that they understand how they would care navigate
  • Over 94% agreeing that the training is clear and accessible

We are developing the portal all the time and have exciting new modules coming online very soon which only cements our foothold further as one of the UK’s leading primary care training providers. Just this week, we’ve been shortlisted as ‘Training Provider of the Year’ at the General Practice Awards so we couldn’t be prouder.

What sort of results are CCGs and federations reporting about the introduction of care navigation, David?

That’s the best part for me! We recently completed our first full-scale evaluation and whilst the report is still being finalised, we’re delighted to hear some of the initial stats:

  • Bassetlaw CCG estimated 324 GP hours saved in 3 months
  • Taurus GP Federation estimated 613 GP hours in 4 months
  • North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs estimated 1,843 GP hours saved in 6 months
  • South Tees CCG estimated 1,270 GP Hours saved in 4 months

I literally get emails on a daily basis from reception supervisors and practice managers that have taken the training and feel ‘invigorated’ by the arrival of care navigation.

Working for Hastings and Rother CCG, Sue from the Sidley Medical Practice completed the care navigation training programme and commented:

“I thought I had to make referrals for patients as part of Care Navigation and that concerned me. I wasn’t sure about that, if we would be able to do that. Now after training, I realise I can now provide our patients with the information they need to help themselves. Patients will think “Oh maybe I could try that”. Patients will think next time I can go straight to this service and not have to wait.”

Rotherham CCG were continuing their roll out of our training to include another ten practices when Andrea, reception supervisor from Stag Medical Centre said:

“My role as reception supervisor has improved greatly, I no longer have receptionists so stressed that they need to have sick leave and we no longer have receptionists crying on a daily basis because they are being shouted at by patients because we can’t offer the patients anything. We now have options; we have “Care Navigation”. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it and get it right for the patients and staff. So far, 28 out of 30 practices in Rotherham have moved to this new way of working and 197 care navigators have been trained across the district.”

What do others think?

We’ve released a series of videos that we produced as part of the evaluation featuring just some of the CCG and practice team we’ve worked with and their experience of care navigation. Their words say it all and I would urge anyone that’s yet to consider care navigation to take a look:

Care Navigation: Receptionist perspectives