Our Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) Guardian was scheduled to present at the National Guardian’s Office Regional Conference today. Due to the Covid crisis, it took place via webinar, as it was felt important that GP Practice staff know they are fully supported when it comes to reporting concerns about patient care and the safety of patients and colleagues.
Following the introduction of the Guardian roles in Primary Care in 2017, it struck us that General Practice is unique in how the role can be provided. As small organisations it is not practical for practices to have an individual person, independent of management to represent staff. What is required is a cost effective service deployed with an understanding of the uniqueness and sensitivities of Primary Care.
Howbeck is now delivering a FTSU service to over 100 of our clients inc GP Practices, PCNs and Feds. We support them to embed the appropriate policies and promote the service to make it visible to staff, which is critical for success.
*We are now offering this service to all*
Costs are based on list size with group discounts available for PCNs and Federations
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Howbeck Healthcare was recently asked to facilitate a Board Development Day for West Lancashire GP Federation. Mike Pyrah, Director of Howbeck Healthcare led this session with the aim of creating the right environment to enable the participants to reflect upon, and to provide constructive challenge, in order to determine the future direction for West Lancashire GP Federation. The desired outcomes were:
Testimonial from Helen Holmes-Fogg, Chief Executive of West Lancashire GP Federation
‘Mike provided insightful and considered facilitation of our Board Development Day. He was a positive disruptor with some words of wisdom. He challenged and focused the mind in an agile session.’
There are a lot of useful summaries of the GP Contract agreement already available, therefore rather than focus on what is included in the contract I wanted to concentrate on the likely impact on Practices, PCNs and GP Federations (or Networks of Networks).
To start with, it is worth considering what the Contract Agreement actually is:
• The annual amendment to the GMS Contract
• The year two plan PCN DES Specification
• The delivery plan for the NHS Long-term Plan
Looking at the three elements my observation is:
GMS Contract – For practices there are some significant new obligations (such as sharing their activity and workforce data) and some new service requirements. Interestingly on their own the incentives may not be sufficient to make the changes and requirements acceptable.
PCN DES – The contract is much more attractive to PCNs and removes lots of the significant barriers in the last version, most of the financial benefits are for the PCNs and some of these are required to be reinvested in services rather than in practices.
The NHS Plan – Some of the requirements have been set out as aspirations in previous documents (online access) others are new (50 million more appointments), and there is a mix of national and local actions (training more GPs etc).
Putting the three elements together my main observation is that there are some significant new obligations for practices whilst most of the financial benefits are for the PCNs, and some of these are required to be re-invested in services rather than into practices.
Download the full Update to the new Contract Agreement – February 2020.
**** Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship – International Forum, Copenhagen, April 2020 ****
We are pleased to hear that the Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship Programme(led by North Staffordshire GP Federation and project managed by Lucy Minshull at Howbeck Healthcare), continues in the International spotlight. The key findings from the evaluation of the Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship have been accepted for a poster presentation at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Copenhagen in April 2020.
Dr Lizzie Cottrell, a local GP at Wolstanton Medical Centre and the lead evaluator, is delighted as this is an important and hot topic in primary care at the moment. Physician Associates are not as established in some parts of Europe, so it is excellent to spread the news internationally about what we are learning about Physician Associates in primary care and to keep the successful Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship programme in the spotlight.
We have supported one of our GP Federations in Staffordshire to deliver the first of its kind in the country, the Staffordshire Physician Associate Internship to support the shortage of GPs. The uniqueness of the internship is it offers PAs to work across both primary and secondary care with a half day teaching session each week. 19 PAs have undertaken the internship, with the majority of PAs completing the internship offered full time positions in primary care.
The successes to date has been remarkable: RCGP endorsement; HSJ Values Award Finalist 2019; International paper submitted to WONCA (World Organisation for National Colleges and Academies for Global family doctors) for consideration and visits from national leaders and organisations from across the country.
Howbeck are sponsoring the first ever, Physician Associate in Primary Care Conference on the 13th June 2019 – 12.30 pm – 4.45pm at Keele University, in Staffordshire. Places are limited. To book please download the Physician Associate in Primary Care Conference Poster
Download a copy of the Who are Physician Associates? information booklet.