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An Introduction to Primary Care Network Workforce Planning

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

At THC Primary Care, we write blogs for Primary Care Network leaders.

You may be brand new to your role and primary care , and looking to better understand which roles to add to your network. Or you may be an experienced PCN leader looking to conduct some robust workforce planning.

To aid your workforce planning, here is a list of 18 questions for you to consider and adapt to meet your own needs.


1. What is the vision for the network? Always start here, as this will provide the anchor and direction to aid your decision-making.

Service Development

2. What is currently working well?

3. What data do you have to review and inform the service being delivered?

4. Where do we need to increase/decrease the provision?

5. What feedback has been provided about the service to date?


6. If we are struggling to recruit, what other options could we explore ( E.g. specialist provider, recruitment agent)

7. If we are struggling for space, what community assets can we explore?


8. What does best practice look like when it comes to supervision?

9. How are we allocating PCN Staff across our PCNs, and how do the PCN team feel about this?

10. What does the current structure of line management look like for our PCN staff? Is this working? Are we clear?

11. Is there anything more we can do to ensure our PCN staff feel part of the network?

12. Are staff having formal and documented appraisals?

13. If we are struggling to retain staff, what feedback have they provided?

14. Are there clear standard operating procedures in place?

15. What training opportunities are we providing for each profession?

Financial and business planning

16. What additional costs do we need to budget for to support our growing workforce (i.e. management costs, laptops and IT subscriptions, training, recruitment fees, etc.) and which budget lines can this be charged to?

17. Do we have the right business structure for our vision?

Once you have explored the questions above with your team, and this includes the additional roles, the final and most important question now is, what are you prepared to change to see the improvements that you desire?

We hope this helps.


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 50 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.

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