Primary Care Workforce Sustainability
We have a significant programme of work to support Primary Care sustainability. This programme of work is governed by the Regional Board for Primary Care Workforce Sustainability, established in 2016, and well attended by all regional stakeholders key to supporting a sustainable Primary Care system.
The Board was set up to facilitate a collective accountability around the emerging issues of demand outstripping capacity due to a nationally recognised growing workforce crisis. A clear work programme comprising nine priority delivery objectives has been agreed by all partners and is supporting partnership working and preventing duplication. Terms of reference including current list of members can be found here.
An example of three of the priority areas we are delivering upon are listed below:
The Models of Care portal is a new initiative, developed by the South West Academic Health Science Network, in collaboration with NHS England South (South West) as part of the programme to support workforce sustainability.
The portal provides users with easy access to case studies on: what is working, what has been tried and what hasn’t worked within primary care and across the health and care system. The portal is free to use and supports shared learning within the context of the whole system – Vanguards, Pioneers, Primary Care Home.
The portal also features:
- A private forum for registered users.
- Access to resources and funding opportunities.
- A shared project space where users can register a project and invite others to collaborate.
- A private notice board, particularly useful for the emerging Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) in their work across the whole system.
To access the Models of Care portal click here.
Watch this short film for an overview of the portal.
To understand the impact of the Primary Care Workforce Sustainability programme it is necessary to understand the workforce baseline data for primary care, as delivered through general practice.
Each year NHS Digital (Formerly HSCIC) collects workforce data in a census from practices across the UK. The SW AHSN has developed the Workforce Analysis Tool to help users analyse this workforce data themselves by Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) footprint, group of GP practices or single GP practice.
This offers a significant step forward to understanding general practice workforce data, enabling practices to plan more effectively together across a geography. The Workforce Analysis Tool is available to registered users of the Models of Care portal.
One of the key concerns within general practice in recent years is the ongoing rise in the costs of indemnity. GPs have made clear that they feel they have been subject to unsustainable, above-inflation rises in the amount they must pay to buy indemnity against clinical negligence, it was documented in the General Practice Forward View that a solution was to be sought at a national level.
The result was an Indemnity Review, established in May 2016 to capture an initial view of the issue. As part of this review you may have seen and contributed to several surveys circulated to ascertain a clear understanding of the problem. A summary of the review and proposed interim solution can be found here.
South West challenge
It is recognised in the South West (Cornwall, Devon and Somerset) that practitioners as well as GP’s are impacted by the cost and availability of indemnity cover to support emerging new models of care. The issue is so significant, it has been highlighted in every Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) work stream, at the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) forums and bought to the Regional Board for Primary Care Workforce Sustainability to see if a long-term solution can be found on a region-wide basis.
How we are supporting this
In conjunction with partners, the SW AHSN has progressed a plan to help tackle the indemnity issue faced by our GPs and practitioners. We are working with NHS England Primary Care Commissioning and NHS England Primary Care, Quality and Regulation to consider the South West to be one of the new ‘test beds’ for a new model of indemnity cover, which meets the future needs of general practice.
In order for the right solution to be found it is first necessary to ask some further questions around indemnity cover. We have created a survey aimed at all practitioners (including out of hours) involved in general practice. The survey results will be shared anonymously through normal communication channels and will used to inform the Indemnity – Finding a Solution Workshop being held in November 2016 with the NHS England National Team.
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