The key objective of Active Signposting (AS) is to help patients access the right care at the earliest opportunity. It is a new system of ‘triage‘, carried out at the first point of contact with the GP Practice by non-clinical staff under direction of the clinical team.

There are numerous drivers for this patient-centred approach and outcomes will include a more streamlined GP workload, improving efficiencies in terms of access to services and patient satisfaction. It will achieve this by releasing valuable GP time and resources. Staff will actively manage requests for GP appointments and safely redirect inappropriate GP consultations to the most appropriate care provider.

Active Signposting is a tool to develop the skills and career paths of non- clinical staff.   Staff will move away from a passive role and have a more direct impact on patient health outcomes. The skills and abilities needed to undertake Active Signposting are valuable in other new non-traditional roles such as Document Management, HCA and Care Navigation.

After training staff will be confident in advising and referring patients to care providers who work either within the practice team or to external care providers.

There are two models of Active Signposting which we will explore:

  • Higher level of clinical triage
  • Lower level of clinical triage.

Depending on which model you have the resources to deploy, there must be a larger or smaller number of agreed protocols and algorithms available for staff to follow.

Active Signposting can present a challenging cultural shift for some teams – and we will explore the mechanisms to help make the changes as smooth as possible – some of this will build on the existing understanding, within the practice, of the need to change and a realisation of benefits these changes can have.

Successful and safe Active Signposting is reliant on 3 core principles:

1) Robust agreed protocols.

2) A full commitment from the whole team to support staff in delivering Active Signposting.

3) Continuing audit of activity and outcomes including complaints and significant or serious incidents.

At the PMA we pride ourselves on the understanding that one size doesn’t fit all and – therefore, we have various formats of our workshops and can adapt any programme / agenda to suit your local needs and necessaries – so, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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Who should attend?

Don't miss opportunity to work with leading specialists in a series of full day workshops specifically focused on the ‘business’ aspects of General Practice.
  • General Practitioners

  • Practice Managers

  • Senior Practice Nurses

  • GP Administrator Managers

Training Recommendations

All staff wishing to be considered for Active Signposting:

  • Should be experienced GP Practice staff and understand the course outcomes.
  • Should attend ‘Medical terminology’ training.
  • Should attend the full days’ Active Signposting training and understand that their work will be audited and monitored back in the practice.
  • Practices sending staff should appoint a GP Active Signposting Champion and commit to attend training with either the Practice Manager or appropriate manager.
  • Practices must understand that implementation must be continually monitored, audited and significant or critical events reported to appropriate bodies.

Workshop Agenda

Below is an outline of the proposed agenda, if you have any questions please get in touch.

Welcome & Introduction

Learning Outcomes

  • Skills and confidence to deliver signposting
  • Understanding what signposting is for
  • Benefits to patients
  • Benefits to the practice
  • Using protocols
  • Receptionist role in signposting
  • Communication strategies
  • Patient safety

Introduction to Signposting

 This session will introduce why Signposting is now a recognised tool to meet demand on GP time and how it can increase access. Discussion will explore the benefits, risks and limits of the approach.

How are you feeling? – Interactive Group Session to discuss:

  • Thoughts from a patient’s perspective
  • Thoughts from a Receptionists perspective

How will the receptionist’s role change with Active Signposting

Sources of help will receptionists will refer patients to, including:

  • How to make referrals to allied healthcare professionals and other internal and external clinical team members eg. physician associates, paramedics etc
  • Criteria for developing a useful practice directory

Introduce the practical exercises

Group Work & Practical Session

These will be based on typical scenarios found in GP Practices and will be an opportunity for participants to develop new techniques to deal with enhanced patient interactions. Emphasis will be on developing confident communication skills, with all participants having the opportunity to practice these new skills.

Processes for keeping patients safe

  • Introduce, explore and discuss methods of how patient safety is maintained.
  • Introduction to protocols and how to use them…
  • The continuing importance of confidentiality as part of the Active Signposting process
    • From staff point of view
    • From patient point of view
  • The importance of record-keeping

 Communicating the changes to patients   

Achieving effective and persuasive communication through traditional and online channels.

Meet & Greet Discussion

Optional introductory session for commissioners – (GPs, GP Partners & PMs) to join the last hour of the workshop to help them set the objectives and create the action plan back in the practice.

Monitoring Active Signposting successfully in practice

Next Steps – Formulate an Action Plan

 Summary and Q&A


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Contact the PMA now

If you would like more information about any of our workshops, the timings or adapting our programmes to your local needs / requirements, please call 0330 111 6459 or email

Please note that all workshops are delivered online as web workshop sessions – however, if you require face to face workshops, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss this.

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