Stress testing your Primary Care Network

Andy Kinnear's Predictions for Health-Tec for 2019

How do you put your Network relationships to the test and make sure you can come together and work collaboratively?

As we know, the expectations for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) is that they will provide the foundations for Integrated Care systems (ICSs) and Sustainable Transformation Partnerships (STPs) driving systemwide transformation and improvement.

In order to be in a position to:

  • lead the design and implementation of new models of care that improve outcomes for the population;

  • provide care closer to the home of the person;

  • remove organisational barriers, and;

  • encourage cross agency working

Primary Care Networks need to ensure the resilience of General Practice.

For many PCNs, the immediate priority (having submitted the paperwork) is to explore the opportunities that collaborative working present including shared staff, back office efficiencies and cross practice / collaborative delivery models.

Our experience indicates that implementing these new ways of working in a structured way provides an opportunity to stress test both the newly submitted governance arrangements and levels of engagement.

So how do you put your Network relationships to the test and make sure you can come together, work collaboratively, share staff, share delivery linked to income, hold each other accountable and not fall out?

At SCW we are supporting a number of Primary Care Networks and are working with them to stress test their working arangements using projects that are in their own gift to deliver.

These projects all have positive impact on workload, workforce and income. They also require new ways of thinking to ensure the development of a PCN project implementation plan with buy-in from the practices.  Each project will stress test the Network relationships and ability to overcome challenges.

By delivering what’s in your control and using that to stress test your working relationships, you can quickly achieve one high quality standardised approach without unwarranted variation. These are some of the qualities that the future partners in the wider system will be looking for, placing PCNs in a strong position to lead the design and implementation of new models of care within an ICS or STP.

The Primary Care Team in SCW continues to provide unrivalled support and direction to practices, Primary Care Networks and federations in working to successfully implement the required changes and build partnerships with ICSs and STPs and realise the best possible outcomes from this opportunity.

If you want to know more about how to develop a business-ready Primary Care Network, please email: contact@scwcsu.nhs.uk


Director of Primary Care