Active signposting

What is Signposting? 

Signposting enables the practice reception team to direct patients who contact the practice to the most external services available in the borough (e.g. dental care). 

It functions under the assumption that a GP is NOT necessarily the first point of care for all patients, and in some cases GP’s do not have the specialist training or equipment to deal with certain issues such as eye care. 

In order to ascertain the most appropriate service the reception team may ask a few questions about the problem first. 

Benefits to the practice? 

GP’s time could be released to do more of what only they can do, such as spending more time with people with longer term, more complex medical needs and improved staff experience when being able to get patients help often sooner. 

“signposting frees up 80 inappropriate GP appointments a week”

-West Wakefield signposting initiative 

Benefits to the patient? 

Patients are offered a wider selection of relevant services (97% of patients accept suggestions about the most appropriate person to see). Additionally in most cases patients will experience shorter waiting times to get in touch with the appropriate person / team. 

What does the ‘Active Signposting’ training cover? 

Our Active signposting training has been developed with the support of Kera Consultancy, experts in signposting, and was initially piloted by EQUIP in Tower Hamlets. We customise our training for each Borough, and it typically covers:

  • How to signpost
  • Who to signpost to
  • Tips and techniques for gaining confidence in signposting
  • Troubleshooting and discussion on any worries




The Digital Accelerator exists to pilot, test and scale initiatives which can support practices across NEL to realise benefits through increased use of digital tools.​ Example projects include increasing utilisation of the NHS App, supporting practices to move to Online Registrations, and helping optimise the use of Online Consultation systems . This project is funded by the Digital First Programme and being delivered in partnership with Keera Consultancy and NEL Training Hub. 

For more information on this programme and other’s being offered by the Digital Accelerator team please email Martha Morris on :

How to use the Signposting EMIS Template