Author Archive


Howbeck part of award winning vaccination centre team in East Staffordshire

We are very proud to have been part of the huge team supporting the Burton Albion Vaccination Centre in East Staffordshire, which has recently been awarded the Community Project of the Season accolade at the 2022 EFL Football awards in London.
East Staffordshire PCN and the ICS People’s Hub, worked collaboratively with Burton Albion Football Club and Burton Albion Community Trust to support workforce mobilisation for the vaccination programme. The vaccination Centre administered over 250,000 vaccinations at the Pirelli Stadium, representing more than 20 nurses working full time for a whole year!
Read more here


Updated: PCN and Practice Briefing Document Pending New Contracts

Further to our previous news item at the end of March, we have now updated our advice on the new GP contract, in particular the PCN DES which includes up to date information from April 22.

Please have a read and get in touch if you have any questions.

Understanding PCN requirements and entitlements April 2022


Director speaks at North Staffordshire LMC’s GMS/PCN Contract & Potential New Models of Care

Mike Pyrah, Director of Howbeck Healthcare was pleased to speak at the North Staffordshire LMC 2022/23 GMS/PCN Contract and Potential New Models of Care meeting yesterday. The North Staffordshire GMS/PCN Contract Meeting Agenda can be found here.


PCN and Practice Briefing Document Pending New Contracts

We have recently prepared a briefing document for the PCNs and practices that we work with, for them to discuss this year end pending the new contracts and regulations.

Please have a read and if you have any questions please get in touch!

Understanding PCN Requirements and Implications March 2022



We are Hiring!

Howbeck Healthcare supports a large number of GP Practices, Primary Care Networks and GP Federations with a wide range of products and services.

We’re looking for Primary Care IT enthusiasts to join our team as a project lead/manager – predominantly focussing on our Staffordshire and Cheshire patch but with opportunities to be involved in projects up and down the country. 

An in-depth knowledge and experience using EMIS Web is a requirement, and experience with other systems such as AccuRx, Ardens, Docman and Apex, SystmOne would be desirable.

As a project lead/manager, communication skills will be key as many projects involve presenting to large groups or providing training to groups or individuals.

The projects and opportunities that we manage are many and varied. A small example of what we have delivered recently includes:

-Service planning and implementation (e.g. Covid Hot Clinics, Covid –Vaccination Clinics, Oximetry@Home, Enhanced Access, Flu prophylaxis)
– Practice Data/IT Cleansing
– Coding training seminars
– Creation of ‘How2’ training videos for Primary Care IT
– Implementation of Fridge management systems
– Supporting data sharing implementations
– Managing pilots for new technology across Practices/PCNs (e.g. Digital Dictation, ECG devices)

Working as part of our established, but growing team, there will be opportunities to lead on specific projects according to your interests, experience and skills, so both working with others and being able to work autonomously will be highly valued.

If you are interested please contact – applications are invited for full time / part time / contractor roles, with flexible working and a range of employment options available.


Staffordshire Physician Associate (PA) Internship Programme Update

Howbeck Healthcare have been leading the way with North Staffordshire GP Federation since 2017 with their unique and innovative Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) endorsed Staffordshire Physician Associate (PA) Internship. Initially the programme began with three interns who went on to graduate but we are pleased to announce that now, in its fourth year, and having expanded to cover Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin back in 2019, it will see it’s 50th PA graduate in 2022.

With 85% of interns being retained by their host practice, this 12-month specialty training scheme combines weekly teaching and simulation with work-based assessments and support for both interns and their host GP Practice and Primary Care Network (PCN). Through utilising the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) and the Health Education England (HEE) funding, the project team have been able to offer comparable funding arrangements for interns similar to that of GP trainees.

This year the project team were asked to set up a new internship model across Merseyside and Cheshire, in addition to the Birmingham and Solihull programme. The team are now working with Training Hubs and PCNs across the Midlands to support the development of additional PA training schemes from 2022.

From April 2021, Dr Sankari Perumal has taken over the role as clinical lead for the programme.  Dr Sankari states,  “I am very much looking forward to taking over the role from Dr Sharon Turner who has now retired having been the driving force behind establishing the Staffordshire PA Internship. I hope to be able to follow the momentum and legacy she has created with the founding team.”   Lucy Minshull (also a founding member of the team) continues as Project Manager.  Dr Jon Wright and Dr Amrik Jheeta are both experienced GP Tutors supporting the teaching programme.  To support the expansion of the programme, recruitment has commenced for additional PA tutors. 

Alex Strivens PA-R who joined the team in 2017 and has been the PA Tutor/ Educational Supervisor, having developed the curriculums plus competency framework for the Internships.  Alex has now taken up the role of Training Programme Director (TPD) with responsibility for the internship programmes. Clinically he is a PA Partner in General Practice on the Powys / Shropshire border. 

As we approach statutory regulation (GMC) and prescribing for PAs in 2023 we are starting to have our first insights into the future of post qualification training for PAs with the publication of the draft Core Capabilities Framework and PA Curriculum. 

If post regulation we were to see a formal foundation programme for PAs introduced, then these models would pivot to delivering speciality training on completion of that programme and are designed to integrate with the PA Apprenticeship standard.

For further information please contact


Howbeck working with Keele University on new MSci in Paramedic Science

We are delighted to have been working with Keele University on their new and exciting MSci in Paramedic Science which is at the forefront of paramedic education in the UK

Due to commence later this year, this innovative 4-year integrated Master’s programme reflects the expanding role of the profession in delivering complex and high-quality care in a wide range of healthcare organisations and environments.

We were invited to form part of the validation event for ‘practice placement providers’ for the paramedic science programme representing primary care in Staffordshire. 

We are very pleased to inform the programme was approved with minor conditions by the HCPC and the University. In addition, the programme will gain endorsement, subject to minor conditions, by the college of paramedics (one of very few programmes in the UK to gain this recognition).

We very much looking forward to working with Keele University to place paramedics to support the future workforce in primary care in Staffordshire.


Launch of the new platform

We are pleased to announce that we have now launched our brand new website,
How2 is a learning resource site providing a range of instructional videos designed to help GP practice staff make the best use of available Primary Care IT, and to introduce practices to new IT solutions.
A lot of the content on the site has been funded by Cheshire and Merseyside HCP but is available to view for FREE by anyone with an email.
The platform currently has approximately 80 videos in total, with content covering a range of IT systems, (EMIS, Docman, AccuRX, iGPR, APEX etc) and a special bundle dedicated to the GP Appointment Data (GPAD) programme which includes the latest updates. 
The site has some great features including video timestamps and we have more features being released soon.
If you work in a primary care setting we would love you to try the site and if you find it useful, tell others about it too! We are always open to new ideas for useful content too so once you have registered, please let us know by using the contact tab!
If you provide software to primary care and wish to donate content for us to either demo your product or explain its usage, please get in touch.

If you want to commission any specific videos from us get in touch we can help support local initiatives or help publicise your product. If you are training staff to work in primary care get in touch to get access to our content for your students.


Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship Future Proposals to support organisations across the country

Howbeck Healthcare have been leading the way with North Staffordshire GP Federation on their unique and innovative Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship Programme.  Over the last number of years, the internship has supported over 31 PAs across Staffordshire and Shropshire STPs and an additional 6 PAs in Birmingham and Solihull.  The internship programme has been successful due to the dual role across primary and secondary care and  the bespoke programme of education and support for the PAs and practices. 

Based on our success, we are working with Health Education England on a proposal to support other providers and organisations across the country with our offer of support on a number of proposals whether its support to deliver an internship programme from the onset or simply to commission the established teaching programme available. 

In addition, for all new PAs who join the internship programme, they are offered our online video resources  Howbeck’s How2 to improve or refresh their IT skills in primary care with support bundles / videos of EMIS Web; docman and specific bundles for various clinicians.

For more information please contact


Newcastle Central PCN give glowing review of our facilitation service

We have received the below testimonial from Newcastle Central PCN following a facilitated session in March 2021 that we led on.

“The remote session with Mike and Lisa was really beneficial for the PCN as a whole. The pre-work leading up to the session and session itself had effects that were immediate. Mike as a facilitator was able to quick study the PCN and tailor the session to our specific requirements and in terms of what we wanted to focus on as a PCN in the coming months i.e. ARRS roles, Decision Making Processes. Mike was able to steer our discussions to an ultimate, productive outcome – the session has invoked a positive change for the PCN. We would recommend your services highly as a facilitator and look forward to working with you again.” – Newcastle Central PCN