General Practice Resilience
General practice – Often the first place patients turn to when they feel unwell. And over the past few years, it’s changed phenomenally.
It’s busier, more varied for those of us that work in it and a much better place to provide primary care and treatments closer to home, in the heart of communities.
But how do we keep on top of all this change when we have a decreasing number of GPs? How do we take care of our hardworking workforce? What about readying ourselves for the changes we have planned (such as primary care networks) and the not-so-planned (such as the rapid response to COVID-19 we’ve seen in primary care in 2020).
It all comes down to resilience
Together with our partners and commissioners, NHS Wakefield CCG, Conexus stands side by side with its member practices and their teams.
Together we’re tackling the current and future workforce challenges in general practice so we can remain strong, flexible and keep caring for local people for years to come. Our work boils down to three key areas:
Practice workforce development
Wakefield District’s primary care workforce is full of talent, potential and experience. To stay healthy and responsive to future change, we need to keep our primary care workforce productive, up to date and diverse enough in order to keep growing that and help our teams to flourish.
Growing and taking care of ‘our own’ means we can better recruit, retain and retrain our workforce. We’re already doing this through high-quality local training that we’ve developed and designed here in Wakefield – all geared towards supporting general practice.
Practice workforce planning
With the introduction of primary care networks in 2019, primary care now leads the way on improving the ‘whole person’ health of our communities. Totally new types of care, new roles to support mental health, give ‘social prescriptions’ and manage medicines better, are being introduced into general practice at lightning speed.
To keep ahead of this, Conexus and our partners’ focus is to:
- Speed up organisational development for PCNs
- Facilitate conversations on the models of collective and distributed leadership
- Support leadership development, especially in clinical roles such as nursing
- Integrate the new roles and fresh ways of working across PCNs so we can reduce bureaucracy, administration and improve choice and access to a wider group of healthcare professionals – all perfectly placed to help our patients faster and more sustainably.
Supporting practices to adapt to changes & supporting those that are ‘struggling’
As the NHS moves from treating illness, to identifying and helping more people as soon as they notice something isn’t quite right, we inevitably have a lot of change happening all at once.
To prepare practices for these changes now and in the future, Conexus and our partners offer a range of practical support to meet these challenges head on. From handling workload pressures and day to day operational issues, to transformation support for the new models of care that they’re adopting, it’s all happening right now, across the district.
And as you’d expect, some practices have more challenges than others. Supporting these teams is vital to the survival of their surgery, the performance of their primary care network and the success we see across primary care in the district as a whole, so we make sure individual ‘injections’ of consultancy, practical support and training are there for exactly when practices need it.
If you’re a local practice or primary care network and want to know more about this area of work, get in touch with Russell or Liz in our team. We’re here to help.