Care navigation and triage in general practice

Example triage flowcharts

Audience: GPs
Updated: Thursday 13 April 2023
Topics: GP practices

Below are two examples of flowcharts that can be easily adapted to suit individual practices. The design and level of detail differ between the two, but one is not recommended over the other. These are intended only as samples when developing your own practice flowchart. 

Additional guidance for using example 2

Urgent triage slots

Urgent triage slots are for new problems where the patient is unwell that day and are going to deteriorate in the next 24 hours if not seen.

Urgent problems could include (but are not limited to):

  • Acutely sick children
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Acute illness with fever, acute infection etc
  • Keep following the flow chart and continue to divert where appropriate (e.g., dentist, physio, podiatry, pharmacist, etc).

If there is availability in the next 5 working days

Book a routine appointment for conditions such as (but not limited to):

  • Skin/mole change – routine F2F
  • Change in bowel habit/mild rectal bleeding – routine F2F
  • Breast lump – routine F2F or phone (patient preference)
  • Testicle lump – routine F2F
  • Post menopausal bleeding – routine F2F
  • Chronic cough – routine F2F
  • New painless neck lump – routine F2F

If there are no routine appointments in the next 5 working days

Add to the urgent list of appointments. If unsure, speak to your line manager who can then ask the clinical team.

Introduce a new slot type called ‘soon/same week slot’

This is so care navigators can book new problems which need to be seen in the next 5 working days but do not need an urgent duty appointment.