Latest News: Successful Bid for Primary Care Network Funding

General practice is undeniably the bedrock of NHS care. It provides over 300 million patient consultations each year, compared to 23 million A&E visits. The message is clear - if general practice fails, the NHS fails!

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Refreshing NHS Plans for 2018-19 set out the national ambition to actively encourage every general practice to be part of a local Primary Care Network (PCN) so that there is complete geographic, contiguous population coverage of primary care networks by the end of 2018/2019.

These networks offer care on a scale which is small enough for patients to get the continuous, personalised care they value, but large enough – in their partnership with others in the local health and care system – to be resilient.

Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) invited applications to the Primary Care Network Development Fund for 2018/19 in late July 2018 to support the development and implementation of Primary Care Networks across the area.

Seeing the potential impact PCNs could deliver, Capacity were keen to be involved in this exciting opportunity to improve public services. We engaged with two developing networks in South Liverpool: Childwall and Wavertree PCN, and WAGGA (Woolton, Allerton, Gateacre, Garston and Aigburth) PCN and provided business development and service design support to lead the application process.

We worked with GPs and Practice Managers to establish shared visions and priorities the PCN Fund could support the networks to tackle. CWN and WAGGA both identified scope and appetite for exploring interoperability across practice units, alongside the development of a legal vehicle, to enable the networks to sustainably operate at scale. It was all hands on deck, both for primary care colleagues and the team at Capacity to develop the proposal.

This week we were delighted to learn that both applications were successful. The networks were awarded over £300,000 to deliver primary care at scale across South Liverpool.

Momentum gathered before the news of the successful awards and we are now well underway with the first stages of developing primary care at scale. Practice scoping visits are progressing and continue to highlight the strengths and diversity in the networks. This will feed into refining the priorities for CWN and WAGGA, following which we will get stuck into implementing the ambitions of the network.

Capacity will continue to work with the CWN and WAGGA networks over the next two years to design their legal vehicles, explore and implement interoperability, embed community engagement and develop their business plans. Our shared ambition is to ensure primary care remains the resilient bedrock of NHS care. The Capacity team offer a diverse skillset of legal and accountancy expertise, business development and service design which is underpinned by community engagement to shape the development of PCNs.

Dr Lucy Joyes at Rutherford Medical Centre said,

It has been great so far working with Capacity. They bring an objective, questioning eye to our work life and have the time and space to think through potential solutions for the benefit of us all. We can be honest with them about our pressures and struggles which really helps.

Hearts and minds are won across the networks. Practices want to adapt and are brimming with ideas to increase their resilience and operate at scale. Capacity will provide the headspace to transform their ideas into implementation, developing a new model of primary care that meets Liverpool’s needs now, and in the future.

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Capacity: The Public Services Lab
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Telephone: 0151 305 1045

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