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Ask NHS is a free app available for iOS and Android phones and devices. It contains a symptom checker, hosted by a virtual assistant. The virtual assistant will ask you questions about whatever it is you’re feeling. It will help direct you to the most appropriate care that is nearby. This might be by suggesting a local pharmacy, or by helping you make an appointment at your GP.

You can also access the symptom checker on most GP websites, usually in the bottom corner.

Ask NHS is not replacing any services you use at currently. It is a new addition, and you’ll still be able to get in touch with your GP using the methods you used before. Note that Ask NHS is not the same as the NHS App.

First published: 17th September 2020

Care Navigators

Care Navigators were introduced in the General Practice Forward View in 2016. The NHS invested £45 million to support the training of reception and clerical staff to play a greater role in navigation of patients and handling clinical paperwork to free up time for doctors.

Care Navigators can have a range of ‘day jobs’ – for example receptionists and admin team members – and their role is to:

  • actively listen
  • signpost people to sources of help, advocacy and support
  • help people play an active role in managing their own health

They should play a crucial part in helping people get the right support, at the right time, to help manage a wide range of needs. Health Education England have developed a three-level care navigation framework, which describes the essential skills needed to provide care navigation in the health, social and voluntary care sectors.

Many receptionists in general practice across Buckinghamshire are now recognised as Care Navigators.

Sarah Walker from the Westongrove Partnership wrote about her experience of developing staff members into Care Navigators.

First published: 8th September 2020

How the GP can support a person with dementia

GPs and GP practice staff (including practice nurses) have an important role in supporting people with dementia and their carers. It is important that people with dementia and carers have regular check-ups with their own doctor (at least once a year). They should see them as soon as possible if they have any concerns about their health. This page looks at the different kinds of support available from a GP for a person with dementia. It also explains how they and their carer can access them.

Last updated: 3rd January 2020

NHS Website

The NHS website is the online ‘front door’ to the NHS. It is the country’s biggest health website and gives all the information you need to make choices about your health. You can find information about hospitals, GPs and dentists and urgent care. As well as basic contact details, you can also find feedback from other people about what they think about these services. It’s not just limited to NHS information. You can also find information about other services in your area (often provided by charities) that can help you with conditions from Alzheimers through to weight loss.

First published: 6th February 2018

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK, and nursing associates in England.

If you have concerns about someone registered with the NMC and believe they are not fit to practise you can contact them.

020 7637 7181

The NMC Public Support Service also offers support to any patient, service user, family member, or a member of the public who has raised concerns about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate on their register, that they have decided to investigate.

Last updated: 20th June 2019

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