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Tips on how to kick start your Primary Care Network (PCN)

An interesting read for all Primary Care Networks; written by the Lead Practice Manager of the SMASH PCN, of which Dr Neil Paul is also the Clinical Director.


Welcome to Primary Care Cheshire

Howbeck Healthcare is pleased to announce it will now be providing professional advice and support to Primary Care Cheshire (West Cheshire GP Federation); a network of 34 independent GP practices covering over 250,000 patients.


Useful resources for parents and carers of young children

CATCH is a free NHS Health App for parents and carers of children from pregnancy to age 5.  Commissioned by the Cheshire CCGs it brings together NHS approved advice and information in an easy to use and understand format.

The Little Orange Book, produced by Newcastle and Gateshead CCGs, is also full of information on acute illness in young children and helps parents and carers to recognise and then respond appropriately to a range of diseases, illness and conditions as well as signposting parents to the most appropriate service or clinician should they need further support.


The Physician Associates in Primary Care Conference, supported by Howbeck Healthcare, was a great success…

Physician Associates in Primary Care Conference

On the 13th June 2019, Howbeck Healthcare supported the first Physician Associate in Primary Care Conference at Keele Hall.

We had over 80 delegates attend both locally and nationally, ranging from GPs, Physician Associates, Practice Managers and senior managers from NHS England and HEE.

Pictured from the left: Elita Unyolo, PA; Alex Strivens-Joyce, PA & PA Ambassador; Lucy Minshull, Project Manager – Howbeck Healthcare; Karen Roberts, Guest Speaker, PA & Course Director at St George’s in London; Dr Sharon Turner, Clinical Lead and Dr Elizabeth Cottrell, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer from Keele University
The conference was very eventful. We were able to share and promote Physician Associates (PAs) playing a new and exciting role in supporting general practice along with having the PAs who have completed our pioneering Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship speaking on how they are supporting and working within general practice. The Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship has supported over 22 PAs on the programme.
We were able to highlight that the majority of PAs who had completed our internship have all been retained and are working full time in general practice. 98% of those delegates in attendance asked for a similar conference next year with further emphasis on presentations / workshops and networking. Watch this space!


“thanks for a great conference – spot on in terms of what I needed to know. Well worth the 4.5 hours in the car!”

“I feel this type of conference should be done again to help support the PA internship – a great afternoon with lots of useful info mentioned”

 “Great to hear both the GP/PA talks describing exactly how the role works in practice and what sort of tasks they do on a daily basis and how the PAs are developed as part of  primary care”


Howbeck Healthcare supports iGPc Network to create a development plan

Howbeck Healthcare were recently commissioned to support the iGPc Network, located in Liverpool, in creating a Development Plan for the Network for 2019 / 2020.  To undertake this, Howbeck Healthcare completed individual practice assessments to determine the individual practices hopes and aspirations for the Network followed by a facilitated iGPC Away Day for key staff to  focus on the determination of the iGPC Network priorities and organisational form to support them in doing this.


Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship Programme shortlisted for ‘Primary Care Initiative of the Year’ HSJ award!

We are delighted to announce that the Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship Programme has been shortlisted for ‘Primary Care Initiative of the Year’ for the 2019 HSJ awards.

The Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship Programme is a locally developed internship for Physician Associates (PA) work across primary and secondary care, to determine whether a new model of workforce and skill mix is both sustainable and clinically effective.

This programme was developed to appoint 24 Physician Associates (PAs) offering a 1-year internship working across primary and secondary to offer solutions to the local and national GP workforce issues and to offer the best patient care across Staffordshire.  To date 22 PAs have been recruited over a 15-month timescale.