This website uses cookies to function correctly.
You may delete cookies at any time but doing so may result in some parts of the site not working correctly.

What is a Care Navigator?

Deben Health Group (DHG) has been supported through the NHS England “Releasing Time for Care Programme”.  This has helped colleagues from other practices to explore different ways of working that will improve how practices provide services, both directly to patients and “behind the scenes".

Deben Health group has agreed that one of the most important areas to review is how patients are “signposted “ as efficiently as possible, to the right person in the practice, or in some cases to another medical professional outside of the practice . This has involved ALL receptionists being trained as Care Navigators to be able to have the right conversations with you, so that they can book you in with the best person to help you.  It will also mean that GP practices have more information about services outside of the surgery which will be able to help some patients with specific needs, perhaps better than people at the surgery can.

Care Navigation provides patients with a first point of contact which directs them to the most appropriate source of help. Receptionists acting as care navigators ensure our patients are booked with the right person the first time.
Reception staff are trained and have access to a directory of information about services, in order to help them direct patients to the most appropriate source of help or advice. This may include services in the community as well as within the practice.  DHG are currently using Suffolk InfoLink as our local directory for patients.

Benefits for practices:

This innovation frees up Health Care Team time, releasing about 5 per cent of demand for clinical consultations in most practices. It makes more appropriate use of each team member’s skills and increases job satisfaction for receptionists.

Benefits for patients:

•  It is easier for patients to get an appointment with the GP when they need it, and shortens the wait to get the right help. Seen by  the  right person, thereby getting treated quicker
•  Improved understanding of their condition
•  Increased awareness of available services
•  Encourages positive behavior change and self-care
•  Assists with the reduction of anxiety
•  Helps to improve the overall experience of health care

If you have found the service beneficial please complete one of our Friends & Family forms in the surgery.

Making an Appointment

We are trying to make getting an appointment easier by having more dedicated staff answering the telephones and asking patients to contact the practice after 9.30am if their call is not of an urgent nature or they do not need to be seen that day. If you telephone one of our branch surgeries and that practice happens to be closed at the time you call, you will automatically be transferred to one of the sites that is open without needing to redial.

We provide patients with a mixture of Book on the Day and Book in Advance appointments, in an effort to ensure that we can meet everyone's expectations. In addition we also can provide patients with a telephone consultation with a Clinician should it be clinically appropriate - please refer to the Telephone Advice tab above.

We alos offer online appointments with our GP's and Nurse Practitioner.  Patients will need to register for online access to be able to book these.

The majority of our appointments are available to Book on the Day and these can be accessed by telephoning the surgery as close to 8.00am as possible. Please note that these appointments are intended for patients who require urgent or same day medical attention and we cannot therefore guarantee that you will be seen at the surgery closest to your home. 

Book in Advance appointments are available to book up to one month in advance. They are intended for, but not restricted to, people who require non urgent appointments such as medication reviews, chronic disease reviews and routine health checks. They may also be booked by those patients who want to see a specific doctor. To arrange a book in advance appointment, please telephone the surgery after 9.30am.

If you are trying to get your blood results please call the surgery after 11am.  There is a very high call volume before this time with patients booking on the day to see their GP.

If you are trying to book an appointment for a sensitive problem it may be more confidential to do so via the telephone as the Receptionists might have to ask you sensitive and private questions: eg if booking for a smear you may be  asked where in your cycle you are.  If you do however have to discuss a sensitive issue at Reception you can ask to be taken into a private room.

Alderton Health Centre and Orford Branch Surgeries

The doctors have an appointment system operating at our Alderton site. Some appointments are allocated on the day for conditions of an urgent nature, however,  a few appointments each day are pre-bookable up to 1 month in advance. Please phone at 08.00am in the morning if you wish to see the doctor on the day.

Hollesley Village Hall ~ Branch Surgery

The surgery operates a booked appointment system on a Monday afternoon from 1.30pm whereby appointments can be both prebooked or booked on the same day. Please call Alderton Health Centre on 01394 411641 to book an appointment.

GP+ Appointments

Suffolk GP+ is for people who urgently need a doctor’s appointment or are unable to see their GP during normal GP hours.
Appointments can be made via Reception during our usual opening hours. Please note patients cannot refer themselves to this service.
The service is staffed by local Suffolk GPs and Nurse Practitioners in Ipswich, Felixtowe, Stowmarket, Leiston and Wickham Market and is an NHS service delivered by the Suffolk GP Federation. You will receive a booked appointment and will be seen by a  local GP or nurse who will have access to your medical records (once consent is given).


Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website