Primary care development

20 November 2018
The future of the NHS depends on primary care – not just because primary care provides the first point of contact for most patients but because primary care will play a central role in the integrated care systems of the future. As Simon Stevens put it starkly, “if general practice fails, the NHS fails”.
Primary care can only continue to fulfil its current and future roles if it gets the support it needs to manage existing demand, cope with challenges to the workforce and embrace new ways of working. 
We work directly with general practice and other primary care providers to help them to develop their organisations – from struggling practices seeking stability to successful practices considering their options for collaboration and growth. We also work with commissioners to support their primary care development and transformation strategies.
We work with practices to:
  • Stabilise and support them to get out of crisis mode, including diagnostics and improvement planning
  • Understand their options for achieving the right scale to meet their own and their patients’ ambitions for local services
  • Manage change and improvement in their business processes, working with individual practices and groups of practices
  • Support partners, practice managers and other members of the practice team to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to move forward with confidence
  • Develop the formal and informal networks that primary care will need, allowing them to benefit from strength in numbers and to become a stronger partner in the local health and care system

Strategic support

Primary care networks – not all practices need or want to grow through mergers or other formal arrangements, but all need to form local partnerships for support, joined up provision of services and to reap the benefits of scale. That will mean working not just with other practices and primary care providers but with the voluntary sector, social care and other organisations that provide local services.

Primary care networks are not defined by any particular philosophy or contractual model, but by common purpose. They may be driven by ambitions to increase the range of services offered in general practice, by practical problems such as provision of extended hours services, by business imperatives such as pressure on overheads, by workforce problems or by the need to find collaborative solutions to unsustainable workload. Whatever size or shape of primary care network you have in mind, we can help you to bring it together, from objective setting and agreeing how to work together to understanding the business opportunities, to enabling leadership and team development, and to creating the operating framework and governance arrangements to support your ambitions – whatever they are.  
Find out more about our support for primary care networks.
Federation development – some of the federations set up in the past few years have failed or are at risk of failing. The reasons include lack of a clear vision and purpose, lack of resources, poor engagement with member practices, variable leadership and lack of skills and experience. 
Yet every GP practice hoping to work with others could benefit from access to an umbrella organisation able to support the practices, provide the legal and financial entity to enable joint provision of services, and enable a workable management and governance structure. In other words, formal legal entities still make sense. We can provide advice and support covering the business plan, effective marketing and communications, legal and contractual options, engagement and relationship management to make your organisation sustainable and able to fulfil its mission to support primary care in future.   
Managing change and improvement – we use a range of tools, including Belbin and MBTI (Myers-Briggs), coaching by executive coaches to help single practices and groups of practices to develop the individual and team capabilities needed to sustain and grow the organisation. Find out more about our personal and team development services.
The Confident Practice Manager – a highly successful development programme for practice managers. Facilitated by ILM7 trained coaches with input from engaging subject experts, the sessions are designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills and confidence. 
Small groups of practice managers work together, share problems and experiences and often leave the programme with a stronger local support network. Topics covered include leading your practice through change, taking a coaching approach with your team, developing your facilitation skills for productive meetings, and how to influence others. Read the prospectus
Practice team support - PCC offers a number of opportunities for primary care providers to access our services. We have a general medical provider subscription package and also offer subscriptions to groups of practices working together.
Managing mergers – we can work with you to consider your options and project manage your merger to a successful outcome. We can also provide support in the crucial months after the merger to give the enlarged organisation the best chance of long-term success.   
Operational support
Capacity and demand management – audit and implementation guidance, including support from an access expert adviser.
CQC preparation – we can help your practice prepare for CQC inspection and get the rating you deserve. Support is tailored to the needs of individual practices.  
Practice manager support – we have experienced practice managers and coaches to provide mentorship to new and developing managers. 
Practice team training – we help to develop the skills reception and admin teams need to improve people’s experience of GP services, increase their own job satisfaction and improve patient flows. Available modules include care navigation and signposting, effective communication and smarter working. More… 
Correspondence management – practices can save GP time and money by training clerical teams to process correspondence that would otherwise be handled by GPs. Learn how develop your team and improve workflow. More…
Primary care development

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