It may seem impossible to think about in our current situation, but at some point the crisis that is Covid-19 will end, and life will return to what we know as normality.

Whilst those with whom we work in primary care are focused almost solely on dealing with the Pandemic, we are finding the Clinical Directors also know that the PCN DES is continuing and are keen to ensure that momentum gained to date is not lost, and as part of this want to ensure that the funding available for new additional roles is used in its entirety and to best effect.

To that end we are supporting our clients by working on an Additional Reimbursed Roles strategy, which enables them to focus on managing the Pandemic both in their own practices and across their networks. Our approach has three parts to it, with the funding available split into three parts, or budgets, in proportions that reflect the position of each Network:

Budget 1

Where Networks have already agreed some of the roles that they wish to recruit to, we are working with them and other key stakeholders (for example, GP Federations and NHS Trusts) to find the best and most effective way or recruiting to those roles and ensuring the clinical and supervisory support is in place

Budget 2

Given that there are new roles that have been added to the original list of reimbursed roles Networks are not always yet clear which are going to be of most benefit to the Network and to patient care.

On that basis, and to inform strategy, we are supporting them to take on staff on a temporary and flexible basis in order to try service options before making final decisions regarding permanent recruitment. Generally, these temporary staff are being engaged via agencies, which will cost more than the reimbursement available, but the view is that this is a worthwhile exercise in order to make best use of resource in the long term and ensure that new clinical staff are recruited who will optimise patient care and reflect the skill mix needed across the Network. As this is a short-term trial, most Networks will use such as the £1.50 per patient funding to make up the shortfall.

Effectiveness and value of the temporary roles is then assessed using such as PDSA (plan do study act) and the outcome then informs recruitment to permanent roles going forward.

Budget 3

This is a pot of funding that is split and available pro-rata across the Network practices to enable them to recruit to roles that perhaps not all practices across a Network may wish to recruit to. Practices may do this individually, or work with other practices in the Network to make joint appointments.

By offering and taking this flexible approach, Networks are finding that they make best use of the funding available for their Network as a whole, the individual constituent practices and for the populations that they serve.

If you would like to speak to us about how we could support you with this work please contact us…

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