Resilience is the umbrella term NHS England has chosen for supporting general practice through one of its most challenging – and possibly transformational – periods since the NHS was founded three years after the end of the Second World War.
PCC has worked with hundreds of practices to help them get fit for the future.
Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) have a tough job to do – focused on making the books balance, hamstrung by provider deficits, trying to make an unsustainable system sustainable. Yet the majority of patient contacts and opportunity for upstream intervention is in primary care, most obviously general practice but also community pharmacies, dentists and optometrists. In this article, PCC chief executive Helen Northall makes the case for better understanding of and engagement with primary care by STPs.
Primary care at scale is a key part of the NHS response to crises in both finances and GP recruitment and retention.
PCC has supported practices and CCGs facing a range of those pressures or changed circumstances. Having worked in commissioning and primary care for many years, our associates can communicate effectively with both commissioners and providers. PCC adviser Charlotte Goodson says a range of local circumstances can trigger merger decisions.
Even well run practices need to develop resilience to make them fit for the future. That’s one of the main messages in the latest issue of Commissioning Excellence, which includes case studies on PCC’s support for the national resilience programme, our work in Wakefield to help five GP federations to come together as a confederation, an award-winning Gateshead practice’s use of a frailty nurse and practice champions to improve outcomes, and more accounts of the difference practice based clinical pharmacists are making.
When five existing GP federations in Wakefield were making plans to come together in a larger organisation, PCC was brought in to facilitate the relationship. We ran a series of sessions with topic experts including GPs with experience of leading primary care collaborations elsewhere in the country, to enable the Wakefield confederation Conexus to get underway successfully. Kate Brentley, managing director of Conexus, said: “There was a willingness to work together but also a slight undercurrent of mistrust. The PCC sessions helped bring us out of that as they facilitated trust between the federations and really made it possible to establish the confederation and for the CCG to award one extended hours contract across Wakefield.”
For information on support for working at scale, email email@example.com with “GP collaboration” in the subject line.