Updated: May 9
One of the big changes in the PCN DES this year is the introduction of the unconditional capacity and access support payment which previously had to be earned through the achievement of the investment and impact fund targets.
The Capacity and Access Support payment is £2.765 (adjusted pop) and will be paid monthly in 23/24.
Now…. what should networks do with this money?
Already, I’m hearing rumblings that this could be a potential issue with practices wanting their share of this money according to their list size to reinvest in their practices, which I can completely understand.
However, for networks looking for other ways to invest this payment to;
Reduce variability across practices
Find more efficient ways of working
Improve the patient experience
The following ideas may offer some food for thought.
Let's jump in!
Could your primary care network:
Allocate the capacity and access payment in the same vein as QOF this year which is based on last year’s performance. This would mean that the payment for the capacity and access payment would be based on last year’s practice IIF performance, retaining the rest of the money in the network.
Create an innovation fund for practices to bid to, to trial innovative ways of working before this idea is rolled out across the network?
Ring-fencing some funds to support pay rises or the salary of your PCN Manager or administrative staff if you are not already utilising your additional role reimbursement scheme to cover these positions.
Use these funds to create hub-based services supported by roles which cannot be funded via the ARRS. For example, could you fund a GP (if you can find one) to support a PCN-led service?
Commission services from community-based organisations like a charity to help bolster some of your service provision.
Bulk commission services or subscriptions previously funded by practices to save costs.
Purchase tech to promote hub-based working like; EMIS Web PCN Hub, a wound care hub, or diabetes group consultations.
Distribute 70% back to practices with the remaining 30% allocated to professional development for your PCN workforce?
PS. When commissioning services or subscriptions, try to secure this for 2 years to create some longevity, although I know this is still a short time frame.
These are just ideas to get you thinking.
I hope this helps.
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About the Author
I'm Tara; I am the founder of THC Primary Care, an award-winning healthcare consultancy specialising in Primary Care Network Management and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast, where we have now published over 200 episodes.
I have over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sectors, and I have supported over 80 PCNs by providing interim management, training and consultancy.
I have managed teams across multiple sites and countries; I have an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care, and I am the author of over 250 blogs.
I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.