Collaboration is not just a matter of survival

23 August 2017
Working at scale is more than a survival strategy for general practice, but an opportunity to embrace change, improve the working environment and provide better services to patients.
 
For practices already struggling with workload pressures, staffing issues and diminishing resources, working with other practices may offer the only viable route to safety and sustainability.
 
Increasingly practices are coming together in neighbourhoods, collaborative alliances or federations to benefit from economies of scale, access to a wider range of skills, improved recruitment and retention, and opportunities to increase income.
 
Yet practices are frustrated by demands to work at scale that come with little or no practical guidance about why, and how, to do it. Among other burning questions, they need to know:
 
  • Why collaborate with others?
  • Where to go for advice and support
  • Where to start – and how to move to the next stage
  • Do we need an organisational form, and if so what is the form that works for everyone?
  • What is the right scale?
  • What are the potential contractual and legal considerations?
  • How do we best position ourselves for the future?
PCC has worked with hundreds of practices to help them answer these questions, whether they are at the start of their journey or already underway, and whether they are working in informal networks or formal organisational structures. We have worked with large groups covering more than 100 practices, but also with those who recognise the need for collaboration but want to stay in charge of their own destiny.
 
For practices who want to be both big and small, benefiting from scale but retaining the characteristic of general practice that staff and patients value, GP neighbourhoods, such as “primary care home” offer an attractive alternative without closing the door to other forms of collaboration in future.  
 
We also support emerging collaborations to develop the right relationships, culture, governance and business plans as many of those who avoid these issues will fail when the initial wave of energy and enthusiasm has passed.
 
We have worked with practices in England and Wales on leadership development – the critical factor in sustainability for any organisation.
 
To discuss your needs, please email enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk with “collaborative working” in the subject line.
Support updates Our news

Latest News

2017 adult inpatient survey

21 June 2018

Results from the 2017 inpatient survey, compared with results from surveys dating back to 2009, show gradual improvements in a number of areas. This includes patients’ perceptions of the quality of communication between themselves and medical professionals; the quality of information about operations or procedures; privacy when discussing their condition; quality of food; and cleanliness of their room or ward. The results also indicate that responses to some questions are less positive or have not improved over time. This includes patients’ perceptions of noise at night from other patients; emotional support from staff during their hospital stay; information on new medications prescribed while in hospital; and the quality of preparation and information for leaving hospital.

Read More

Cancer patients at increased risk of suicide

21 June 2018

Cancer patients in England are at increased risk of suicide compared to the general population, according to new figures from Public Health England (PHE).

The first national study of its kind in England reveals cancer patients have a 20% increased risk of suicide, with the highest risk seen within the first 6 months of diagnosis.

Read More

Allied health professions hold key role in future NHS

21 June 2018

The allied health professions (AHPs) have a significant role to play in the future delivery of integrated urgent care within the NHS.

And the quality of leadership of the AHPs will be vital in determining their impact and the quality of care that patients receive.

These are two of the key findings of a study commissioned by NHS Improvement and compiled by Kingston University.

The report and the conclusions of the study were unveiled at the fourth chief allied health professions officer’s annual conference in London.

Read More

Dealing with difficult people and situations – courageous conversations

21 June 2018

The session looks at workplace challenges and fears, what causes stress in these difficult situations, and how to cope with them. We discuss how to build personal resilience and develop assertiveness skills, followed by a session on courageous conversations – things to consider and top tips. We also spend time testing out some difficult conversations, to help you to understand what to do when you face resistance or hostility.

The session on 8 November in Leeds and 29 November in London is interactive and outcomes-focused and includes practical advice on managing situations and avoiding conflict. It encourages self-reflection but also benefits from the group’s shared experience.

Read More

Help to write the winning bid

21 June 2018

General practices and other primary care providers can no longer rely on their core contracts for a sustainable income. Writing bids and responding to tenders is an art that requires a mixture of keen attention to detail, absolute clarity and persuasion. Too often tender responses fail not because the respondee was unable to meet the commissioner’s requirements but because the formal response failed to meet the evaluation criteria. Not only does this mean lost opportunities, the response may well have cost thousands of pounds and many hours for busy GPs and business managers. PCC has experience of writing successful bids for individual practices and federations. Email us at enquiries@pcc-cic.org.uk to find out how we can help.

Read More