A service to help patients find their way around the NHS will be launched this autumn.

Five 'community navigators' will be appointed to guide the public to the correct health services.

Each navigator will cover one of the five districts - Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford, and will have a detailed knowledge of the full range of health and social care on offer.

They will also provide a face-to-face service for vulnerable people or those who are unsure or anxious about finding the right service to help them, along with complimenting telephone and electronic advice service HertsHelp.

The service will be jointly funded by the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and Hertfordshire County Council, and work in partnership with the voluntary sector.

Dr Nicolas Small, GP chairman of the commissioning group, said: “As a local GP I can appreciate the benefit that community navigators will bring to patients and professionals alike. As well as putting people in touch with the right service to help them, the navigators will be able to identify opportunities for new services and discuss funding with the group and county council commissioners.”

In Hertsmere, the service will be hosted by organisation Hertsmere 3Cs - a group made up of Crossroads, Community Action Hertsmere and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

On behalf of Hertsmere 3Cs, chief executive officer Barbara Kennedy said: “Carers tell us they sometimes feel caught in a maze. Not only do they have the stresses of their caring role, juggling appointments with various professionals such as GPs, social workers, district nurses and so on they also have to find time to source any help and support that is available to them.

“It would be much more helpful if they had one point of contact. A community navigator will be able to tell them about all the information they require and where to get it rather than just being handed a booklet or pile of leaflets.”

The community navigator service will launch in the autumn when full details of how to get in touch with the service will be advertised.