How to introduce a new role into your Primary Care Network
Updated: Jan 4
Regardless of the circumstances, introducing a role into your primary care network can be both exciting and challenging.
The aim of this blog is to help you prepare for this role, so you feel more excited but also more prepared to hit the ground the running.
Whether you are hiring under the additional role reimbursement scheme (ARRS) or have funds to hire for a project specific role only, here are some steps to take to ensure the hiring process gets off to a good start.
Step 1: Define the need
Articulate where the gap is.
Identify the most appropriate role to meet the need.
Agree what benefits this new role would bring.
Top Tip: This should be a collaborative effort. Failing to gain a consensus on this will beautifully set you up for failure and the casualty will be your poor new recruit.
If adding a new role to the network broadly seems like a good idea, move forward to step 2.
However, please note not everyone will be fully convinced and many more questions will need to be answered but this is good… this is progress.
If your network flat out rejects the role... this is also good, although it may not feel good in the moment. What has happened is that your network has identified what they do not want. You can still move on to step 2 which will help you build a more compelling case.
Step 2: Ask the experts
To gain a greater understanding of how a new role can benefit your network and how to maximise the use of this position, it makes sense to ask the experts.
These experts will be:
Other networks who have hired the role.
People actually delivering the role.
Companies facilitating the role.
When asking the experts, you will want to understand:
What the role is best placed to do.
The level of supervision that is required and how many hours.
Induction and ongoing training needs.
How the role can be delivered. Whether that is in person, virtually, example referral pathways, patient criteria etc…
Key performance indicators to review impact and performance.
The lessons they have learnt from working within a primary care network.
The true cost of the role.
Step 3: Clarify the costs and salary expectations
Gaining 100% active agreement on the investment required to secure the position is essential. Failure to do this will result in the network seeing the role as an unnecessary expense rather than a worthwhile investment.
Make sure to clarify all cost surrounding the role, for example:
What is the salary? What is the cost of IT, phones and other expenses? What is the cost of the varicella immunisations if they do not have this?
Costs need to be transparently presented and calculated.
It’s also at this point, you have to honestly negotiate with yourselves as a network how much you are willing to pay for someone with experience against how much time you have to nurture someone with less experience for the role.
Step 4: The recruitment process
Start the recruitment process and include your Practice Managers.
We all know Practice Mangers are key to making things happen, so it makes no sense to leave them out.
Also ensure there are clear roles and responsibilities documented for the Clinical Directors, the hiring practice, the interview panel and HR and the finance lead.
This is not the time to build the plane while you fly it.
Get prepared because the devil is in the detail. If there is distrust amongst your network and in general, a poor flow of communication – the recruitment process, time and costs will escalate quickly and derail you before you have even started.
Step 5: Inductions
Start the induction plan as soon as your new recruit accepts the position. Arrange introductory meetings with practice staff and key stakeholders and create a rota if required.
It’s important to create an ID check list as without the correct ID, your new recruit cannot gain access to the systems they’ll need. The list will look something like this.
Agree line management AND the best methods of communication.
You can’t overdo this preparation. We want to blow people away with your preparation!
Step 6: Review and feedback
Review the role during the probationary period. Keep talking and keep supporting. Provide feedback regularly – face to face is best but when this isn’t possible, do it over a video or phone call. Don’t rely on email especially if the feedback is not solely positive and more on the constructive side.
Remember, email can be misinterpreted and delivering bad news in email is poor management.
If you dedicate the time and energy into all these steps it will make the process easier for you, and in the long run you are more likely to see successful outcomes with your new recruit. You will feel more excited about it, they will be happier and your network will benefit from the job they are doing.
If you want more advice on managing recruiting new roles, give me a call on 07949190115 and I'd be happy to talk it through. And find out how we support Primary Care Networks.
For further resources to support you:
E - Learning for Health : New roles in Primary Care
Implementation Tools from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Tara provides project and network management to Primary Care Networks and coaching support to clinical leads and has worked with 11 Training Hubs and 12 Primary Care Networks to date.
Tara has an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care, is the author of over 190 blogs also hosts The Business of Healthcare Podcast.
Find out more about THC Primary Care at www.thcprimarycare.co.uk