Care Navigation

National Care Navigation Training Programme

Through various stakeholder engagement exercises led by NHS England, care navigation training was highlighted as a need within practices. Effective care navigation could direct over 15% of patients to either teams that could better help them or to the most appropriate healthcare professional for assessment and response – without the need to see a GP.

As part of the recently published delivery plan for recovering access to primary care and their ambition to offer 50m additional appointments in general practice by 2024, NHS England are offering two care navigation training programmes, one foundation level and one advanced, to upskill and support practice and PCN staff. They have commissioned the NAPC to deliver this training.

Why is this important?

The aim of the national care navigation training programme is for every practice and PCN in England to access care navigation skills training to drive transformation and improve patient access at first contact with the practice.

Who is the training for?

The training is open to anyone working in general practice however, they should ideally be reception staff and care navigators involved in triaging requests to the correct healthcare professional or service for the patient. Practices should nominate one member of staff to undertake the foundation level training and one member per PCN for the advanced training.

What does the training involve?

There are two training opportunities available dependent on experience.

Foundation Level training

  • These sessions are for those new to care navigation and will offer foundation level skills training so that individuals will be confident to communicate effectively with patients and other members of the MDT to signpost to the relevant clinician or local service. One place per practice is available.


Advanced Level training

  • These sessions are for those with experience of care navigation who are involved in triaging requests to the correct healthcare professional or service for the patient. Availability is one place per PCN, and it is the responsibility of those attending the advanced training to support and embed it into practices and networks for sustainability and standardisation.

How and when will the training be delivered?

Training is delivered by expert facilitators virtually in three sessions lasting an hour each. You can book onto care navigation training until March 2024.  Between each of the training sessions, practices and PCNs are expected to embed and develop this learning through the establishment of a local community of practice to sustain and standardise care navigation across their networks.

How do I sign up?

Once a staff member has been selected by the practice or network, they can register via the following link: click here.

History of care navigation training

The NAPC are the founders of care navigation training, a bespoke programme that we have been delivering to healthcare systems across the country since 2009. At the time, we identified an opportunity for a range of frontline staff in primary care – including receptionists, administrative staff and pharmacy assistants – to improve access to primary care services by training them in key skills such as active listening and how to signpost people to sources of help, advocacy and support. We found that by upskilling existing staff it had the potential to help to reduce unnecessary appointments, increase patient wellbeing and maximise resources already in the system.

National Association of Primary Care bespoke care navigation training offer

Our experienced team at the NAPC can build on the NHS England national training offer, which is a helpful starting point that can lead to future opportunities. We can work with your practice / PCN to deliver bespoke training, offering a tailored package that is right for you and enables patients’ to play a more active role in managing their own health. We deliver training to equip care navigators with communication skills that allows patients to be signposted to local charities, social services, pharmacies or other community services in accordance with the health, wellbeing and emotional support services available in your local area.

To be added to the waiting list for this bespoke NAPC training, which will be available again from April 2024, please complete the following request form: click here.