In a time of Covid, Primary Care Networks (PCNs), where several general practices work side by side, are proving their worth. Established 16 months ago, the 1,250 Primary Care Networks operating in England, is giving the NHS extra agility, by providing joined-up health and care to local populations
But setting up a PCN is not straightforward. As PCNs do not conform to the traditional general practice model, writing business case plans and future deployment strategies takes time.
There are a number of administrative hurdles to negotiate and a raft of funding hoops to navigate, which has left Clinical Directors and PCN Managers, facing monumental challenges Take the paperwork for example. On top of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), every PCN must have developed a workforce strategy by the end of October to take it through to 2023/24.
Once the plans have been submitted, the commissioner will confirm the strategy with each PCN’s Clinical Director. Future strategies then need to be shared with NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional Teams by 30 November 2020.
How QCS can help.
How do Clinical Directors therefore, draw up a robust business plan? How do they know that their strategy is on the right track, and meets not just the immediate requirements, but also future milestones? How do they recruit effectively, and how do they navigate the right funding streams, given that the landscape is very different to the one they are used to?
Clinical Directors and PCN Managers could choose to do their research themselves, but the danger is that this would drag them away from their day-to-day duties. Much better, therefore, to seek the help of a leading compliance, content and technology provider such as Quality Compliance Systems (QCS). QCS’s policy writing team, which consists of health professionals who work in the sector, have created a brand new PCN Management System, which will be launched soon.
The new system, contains easy-to-read guides, factsheets, checklists and auditing templates, which enable Clinical Directors and PCN Managers to create a powerful and robust business plan, negotiate complicated funding streams and identify, plan and recruit the right staff at the right time.
Why use the QCS PCN Management system?
The package is vastly different from the one that is currently being offered to GPs. Instead, QCS has focused on putting the right guidance in the hands of the PCNs, the Clinical Directors and Network Managers. The system includes a suite of job descriptions of existing and upcoming PCN roles, governance documents including a Business plan template that are fully customisable for PCNs.
An ARRS template has been specifically designed to help PCNs to seamlessly navigate the ARRS funding landscape, which PCNs must recruit through. But this is different to the funding stream that they are used to. On average, this funding, which covers salary and on costs, will enable each PCN to have approximately seven full-time Equivalent staff (FTE) in 2020/21 rising to 20 FTE staff by 2023/24.
QCS has also developed a workforce strategy template and a PCN Health self-assessment tool. The system also includes a service specification checklist, an ICS Factsheet and a range of policies and procedures including a staff handbook and induction pack.
The Role Reimbursement factsheet
With PCNs offering patients a much greater diversity of services, the additional role reimbursement factsheet, aims to provide Clinical Directors and PCN Managers with an in-depth understanding on many of the different roles that PCNs require. The factsheet not only includes each individual job spec., but most importantly, it helps recruiters to identify the subtle differences between similar job descriptions. So it might be, for example, that before reading the factsheet, those responsible for recruitment were thinking of hiring a clinical pharmacist, when a clinical technician, on a lower salary, would in fact meet the criteria.
Job spec customisation
Finally, with PCNs coming in a range of different shapes and sizes, QCS enables PCN Managers to customise job spec templates so they can better determine the attributes and skillsets that are essential in a particular PCN. If a population health management review, for example, reveals that the PCN is providing services to patients who predominately belong to an older demographic, then it may need to hire more occupational health experts, care co-ordinators, and first contact physiotherapists.
To celebrate its launch, QCS is offering the PCN Management System to customers for an introductory rate of £295. If you want to take advantage of the offer, please contact the QCS sales team on 0333-405-3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.