Care navigators

How can a care navigator add value to patient experience in accessing health and care services at the right time, right place with the right support and input?

Care navigation refers to assistance offered to patients and carers in identifying and accessing the systems and support that are available to them within health and social care and beyond. They support people to make positive choices to promote good health and emotional wellbeing and can often provide a non-medical referral option that can support existing medical treatments for patients. Examples of assistance offered include referrals to social groups such as walking groups, arts groups and lunch clubs or offer assistance to obtain advice for issues such as housing, benefits or debt management.

This paper provides some key examples of initiatives that have brought care navigation into primary care, community health services, the voluntary sector and online. It lists the studies and where possible provides their key quantified impact.