SUPPORT FOR PRIMARY CARE NETWORKS
BUILDING COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP
The development of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) is described in the NHS Long-Term Plan as key to the transformation of primary care and community services. PCNs are expected to provide proactive, coordinated care to their local populations, with a strong focus on prevention and personalised care. It is anticipated that the PCNs will have a wide-reaching membership, led by groups of general practices. This membership will, in time, include providers from the local system such as community pharmacy, optometrists, dental providers, social care providers, voluntary sector organisations, community services providers or local government. Significant funding is being made available to GP practices in PCNs in return for their initial and then continued active participation in a PCN.
Given the complexity of the role and membership of the PCNs, it is evident that they require effective leadership and management to ensure their success and to make sure they are not set up to fail by taking on too many tasks too quickly.
Greengage provides support to local leaders within PCNs with issues such as collaborative problem-solving, accountability in partnership organisations, risk and organisational development. The focus is on building leadership in these new NHS organisations that focusses on shared challenges, is genuinely transformative and avoids the potential for gradual creep back into older, less effective ways or working.
FURNESS PRIMARY CARE NETWORK
The Furness Primary Care Network is made up of ten GP practices in the Barrow and Millom areas of Cumbria. Greengage has worked with all ten practices, including a series of workshops involving between 80 and 90 clinical and managerial staff from the practices, to clarify the key services that can be more effectively delivered on the wider PCN footprint, rather than in individual practices.
During this period of increased collaboration, the PCN has made considerable progress on enhancing mental health provision and providing support to care homes. The PCN is now focussing its attention and resources on improving urgent care and triage services and on improving health outcomes for children.
Greengage has now been commissioned to provide a collaborative skills building programme to clinical leads across all ten PCNs in Cumbria so that successes such as the one above can be replicated.