Helen Holmes-Fogg on creating sustainability and stability in general practice through the implementation of PCN Hubs
Read any recent report or policy document on primary care and the same themes leap out - change, collaboration and working at scale.
The Health and Care Act 2022 makes provision for more joined-up working to support population health, the Fuller Stocktake describes a “teams of teams” arrangement that will evolve from primary care networks; the At Your Service think tank report says “change is needed … to ensure that primary care can thrive into the future.”
Before covid-19 struck, general practice was starting to work together as part of PCN establishment, building on existing relationships and services to enable proactive, personalised and joined-up health and social care.
The pandemic accelerated collaboration, from the rapid organisation of “hot hubs” to coordinated care home support and joined-up delivery of covid vaccination. It showed the power of the collective, with the right drivers.
General practice was formidable in safeguarding the NHS at this critical time and as we come out the other side, continued organic momentum is essential to protect general practice. It’s time to regroup and strengthen the position of PCNs - but how?
It’s back to that buzz word, “collaboration”. Many PCNs are realising the benefits of joined-up working, merging practice-level services and processes into a single, streamlined offer.
Hub delivery attracts support and funding via digital, workforce, new models and primary care development monies
But transforming ways of working while also doing the day job is tough. General practice is on a fast roundabout and many feel there’s no time, energy or focus to find innovative solutions to workforce and workload challenges.
PCN Hubs bring people, systems and technology together to cut duplication, reduce workload, save money and improve staff and patients’ lives.
Building on the eHub concept of technical integration, Hubs are a PCN-shared delivery or function achieved through collaboration, from a single non-clinical access model to shared long-term condition services. Linking operations and technology supports admin, back office and clinical services.
Redmoor Health aids and practically guides networks to generate their Hub, with a personalised focus. Hub design is driven by the PCN and a solution is co-produced with our frontline experts, giving leaders the headspace to develop their vision and operating model. We support PCNs to generate a baseline capture, gap analysis, templates and table-top pilots, while ensuring requirements like clinical governance and HR are met.
Redmoor are technical system agnostic, providing independent digital and operational expertise and guiding PCNs in collaborative delivery, bringing visions to life in a way that is meaningful and realistic for the end user.
Hub delivery attracts support and funding via digital, workforce, new models and primary care development monies and we help PCNs to apply for these funding streams. Hubs also generate the architecture and delivery models which target Quality and Outcomes Framework, Investment and Impact Fund and PCN Directed Enhanced Service.
Our Hub programme recognises that not everything can be done at scale, however; it’s essential to maintain continuity of care. It’s about creating sustainability and stability in bite-size chunks, without losing what we love about general practice. It’s about owning the change.
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