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Installing board roles in a PCN and organising its back office to make it look ‘more akin to a community trust’ has improved delegation, a PCN director has suggested.
Speaking at Pulse PCN’s Manchester event, Dr Paul Bowen, GP partner and clinical director for Middlewood PCN in Cheshire, said that this PCN’s administrative staff have adopted footprint-wide roles.
Dr Bowen said: ‘We brought together our back office – our secretaries, receptionists and administrators – to create a well-organised management structure [across the PCN]. Working with our practice managers across the organisations, rather than having one manager on-site we have one that might manage finance or HR. This means we’ve managed to restructure our back office more akin to a community trust than a standard modern day general practice.’
The PCN has also installed a partnership board, among other committees, to better manage governance among the PCN’s four practices involving 16 partners.
Dr Bowen said the PCN operates a quality committee, a business committee and a wellbeing committee ‘but clearly understanding the delegated decision making and the mandate of the partners is very difficult’.
He also said that the PCN took full advantage of the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) funding to staff a full team of prescribers, including pharmacists and technicians, to oversee all prescribing, alongside a medical legal team and a teaching team.
He added: ‘We’ve got people now who essentially take the leadership for the whole partnership in one specific area of the business.’
It was reported that week that nearly half of ARRS funding between 2019 and 2022 was spent on the recruitment of clinical pharmacists.