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I’m Penny Stint from Primary Care Support and Strategic Integration Unit at the Sackwell & Binthorpe CCG Alliance, the shadow form of what will soon be the S&B Integrated Care System.
This is the first of my Team’s regular newsletters for PCN Leaders. We’ll be aiming to provide timely, up-to-the minute information and guidance on an approximately monthly basis to keep you ‘up to speed’.
As many of you know, I was a Practice Manager until 2003, before going off to work in a number of exciting contracting roles in the PCT (remember them!) and then the CCG. So, I’m completely up to speed with the issues and challenges facing Primary Care and very much “on your side”. Not literally, of course.
My role is to work strategically and collaboratively with Clinical Directors and other PCN Leaders to ensure that the emerging S&B ICS is fully integrated and completely collaborative at neighbourhood, place and system level.
Why another newsletter? Well, we’ve listened to your feedback that you sometimes feel overwhelmed with work and the sheer volume of information you receive. As commissioners it’s our job to cut through that and support you in any way we can. We also heard what you had to say about the amount of jargon in “official” documents. There won’t be any of that here!
The Bulletin will feature the latest must-dos, should-dos, can-dos, may-dos and nice-to-haves for PCNs as well as top tips, handy hints, bite-size guides, quick guides (for those who don’t have time to stop for
a bite) and backgrounders for those who want to find out more.
At the end of every issue, you’ll find a couple of pages of useful weblinks to documents that should be read in conjunction with this Bulletin and all the other newsletters, updates and reporting requests we send you, including the fabulous output from the Head Honchos at Skipton House!
Strategic aims for the Bulletin
• Spread learning – we gather together the Best Practice examples nationally and throughout the Sackwell & Binthorpe area and e-send them to you in the hope that you’ll find the time to aim to e-read them.
• Promote sharing – the more time we spend sharing, the less we waste on unproductive clinical and administrative tasks.
• Enable collaboration – thanks to the new Duty to Collaborate, collaboration is now mandatory. We look forward to working with you to embed collaboration in everything you do. We call it our “Collaborating to Prepare to Collaborate” Programme. More details in the next newsletter.
• Use Capitals to emphasise whatever seems important, whether it’s a proper noun or not – Primary Care, Doctor, Guidance, Quality, Patient and Carer are all great examples of words that we’re passionate about.
Get to know your ARRS
As you know, the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) exists to fund new roles in PCNs. Many of you have fed back that we don’t always cover ARRS as comprehensively as we could, so the Bulletin will regularly feature a profile of a real professional from the B&S PCN Collaborative. This time, I’ve asked Sally Plant from Eastpark PCN to talk about her role as a Social Prescriber.
My role – by Sally Plant
Hi there! I’m Sally and I’m delighted that Penny asked me to tell you something about my role at Eastpark. On day one, Dr Raman Khan, our Clinical Director, was clear that the Social Prescriber would be vital in the PCN. We started by demystifying the term, which he felt could alienate patients who, as he put it, “come for medical care not bizarre knitwear”.
We agreed that Admin Link Worker (working title!) might convey the right level of approachability. I immediately set about “getting to know” some of the patients in the PCN by helping Alan, the Group Managing Partner, with some strategic paperwork.
My next task will be to map all the local organisations providing mindfulness courses and older people’s Pilates mornings – subject to easing of Covid restrictions. I was introduced to other local leaders at a virtual meeting of the PCN Collaborative where I outlined some of my ideas, including community litter picks, which improve social cohesion and wellbeing but are also great for the environment.
Some of the GPs seemed a bit dubious, but Dr Adams agreed with me and was very keen to get involved. I’m to run a trial scheme at her practice where we’re going to transform the car park. It’s a small step, but it’s all about making a difference.
Dr Khan has already been quick to recognise the value of prescribing healthy living alternatives to medical interventions, such as walking groups. He’s given me a list of patients living with conditions such as chronic hypochondria and agreed that I should work with the Reception team to tell them how to “take a hike”. I’m so excited to get started!
I hope you’ve enjoyed Issue 1 of The Bulletin. Whether you have or not, please reply with a “read receipt” so that we can meet our engagement targets. It’s all about helping each other!
(As told to Julian Patterson)