Tories pilot new cost cutting scheme that will see unqualified staff decide which patients get care

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A New Tory cost cutting scheme, called Care Navigation, will take the ideas Iain Duncan Smith applied to the Department of Work & Pensions system and apply them to the NHS.

Unqualified assessors, in this case dubbed ‘Care Navigators’, will decide which patients receive care.

These ‘care navigators’ will most likely be GP receptionists and admin staff. The key point is, they will not be medical professionals.

This scheme brings up serious concerns about patients having to discuss medical issues with unqualified staff members before they get access to their right to healthcare.

It’s a timewasting measure designed to put yet more space & time between patients and medical professionals – a tactic Jeremy Hunt’s Health Department have become notorious for in the past, whether ‘accidentally’ storing patients mail in a warehouse or slashing the funding to GP services, putting extra pressure on A & E.

“I’m quite alarmed by this, as wasn’t the NHS 111 set-up to exactly this? A lot of the patients who I’ve spoken to are quite concerned as they understandably don’t want to share their personal details with GP receptionists.

From what I’ve been told, some GP receptionists can be quote frosty and people don’t want to talk to them about matters that they’d rather speak to a clinician about. I know some patient engagement has been done to introduce this scheme but not enough in my mind.”

Russ McLean, chair of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group.