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A day in the life of a PCC expert adviser – Wendy Crew

We thought you might find it useful to get to know the PCC team, so we will be including information in our future newsletters about our team and give you an insight into how they work. The first article introduces Wendy Crew who has been with PCC for 11 years.

Wendy Crew

Wendy is an adviser based in the south west. There are nine advisers at PCC and we are based across England and Wales. We all have specific lead areas and I am the dental lead for the team. During my time with PCC I have developed and delivered a number of national programmes for NHS England and NHS Improvement as well as supporting our annual contract holders by delivering local workshops. My work at PCC is varied and no two days are the same. I thought I share what a typical day is like to show you how we work.

During a typical day, I will be delivering one of the virtual training sessions that my dental team and I have developed, whether this is a national event or an annual contract holder’s local workshop. Last year, due to the pandemic, we very quickly transformed our training programme to be a virtual training programme. Our programme offers a range of support for those new to dental commissioning as well as those who benefit from a reminder on the subject. We recently introduced ‘deep dive’ sessions where we share theory but also give delegates scenarios to work through and discuss.  These sessions highlight consistency but also differences in approaches that will help commissioners deal with real life issues.  As I am also on the eye-care and medical team this learning was taken into those work streams with similar programmes developed across the three areas.

I also deliver dental surgery sessions, which give our annual contract clients an opportunity to being any issues they may have in a closed network. I always make sure I am aware of policy updates before those sessions so that I can share information as well as answering questions with clients.

On a daily basis, I work with my dental team to manage our helpdesk. We answer queries within three working days, often sooner, and offer quality assured answers. Since Christmas the dental team has been managing a helpdesk on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement for all dental contractors and commissioners in England.  The helpdesk was set up to answer queries about the year-end reconciliation arrangements that were announced on 22 December.  So far we have answered over 200 queries and counting. We have agreed with NHS England and NHS Improvement that in the next few weeks we will be providing recorded webinars and workshops for commissioners related to this subject too.

I have managed a number of consultancy contracts, the latest one was for the Office of the Chief Dental Officer where we provided a health economic analysis and standard operating procedure for the case finding of cardiovascular disease in a dental setting.

As a team that is based all around the country, lockdown meant we have lost those times when we were able to meet up with colleagues. To ensure the team still felt connected I was asked to provide some connectivity activities for the team to participate in.  This has meant that we have been able to talk to each other regularly via MS Teams and Zoom and support each other when we can’t be together.

To ensure that our training and support is relevant and up to date I subscribe to a number of newsletters and websites such as the COVID newsletter from NHS England and NHS Improvement and the new dental newsletter from the office of the chief dental officer. When I see something I think my team should know about I make sure I share the links, this could be to individuals or the whole organisation. Through my work I keep close links with my colleagues in the central dental team and NHS BSA which helps me to be informed of policy changes for our clients.

For information on how you can access support from the PCC expert adviser team contact enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk