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Strategic Workforce Planning in your Primary Care Network (Understanding the Investment Required)

At THC Primary Care, we have created a library of resources (over 250) to support the leadership and management of your primary care networks.

This week’s blog and video is inspired by a question I was asked at Best Practice Birmingham on 11th October 2023, and I wanted to expand on the answer I gave.

The question was:

How can primary care networks recruit staff, at a salary that attracts and retains, which networks can sustain, alongside not being so attractive it causes conflict and competition between your PCN practices? And, where do we get the money from, over and above the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, moving forward?

In this blog and video, I share some principles to aid your strategic workforce planning, so your primary care network and system better understand the investment required, over and above the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme.

This resource should be viewed alongside our blog titled; How to Approach Primary Care Network Pay Rises in 2023 and Beyond.

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In this resource, I walk you through my initial approach, which includes:

1️⃣. Understanding your current workforce expenditure.

2️⃣. Forecasting a range of percentage increases over a three-year period.

3️⃣. Appraising where the additional investment in maintaining these roles could be obtained from, and assigning some evaluation criteria to assess suitability, feasibility, sustainability and risks associated with these options.

4️⃣. Building a business case which considers the multiple perspectives involved, to ensure a well-rounded view.

I would encourage you to view the video with the understanding that these suggestions are just principles for consideration:

1️⃣. Disregard anything that doesn’t resonate.

2️⃣. This particular video focuses on the salaries of your current PCN workforce and does not include how to build a robust workforce plan based on your population's healthcare needs.

3️⃣. The figures spoken about are not absolute and take into consideration some employee on-costs but not equipment costs.

You will need to take into consideration the political landscape and check out our blog titled: The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan | What this could mean for Primary Care Networks.

Leadership Frameworks to underpin your workforce planning

Positive framing

In this video, I use the term positive framing.

Positive framing in creating a business case involves presenting information, arguments, and data in a way that emphasises the potential benefits, advantages, and opportunities associated with a proposed project, initiative, or decision.

The goal is to highlight the positive outcomes and to create a compelling and optimistic narrative that encourages stakeholders to support and invest in the proposed idea.

You should absolutely acknowledge the potential risks and challenges associated with the investment but frame them in a way that demonstrates a proactive approach.

Two further frameworks I would also like you to consider are:

Complexity Theory

Complexity theory takes into consideration that a solution or movement in one area causes unforeseen issues in another area because health and care is a complex adaptive system, and when it comes to money, £’s invested in one area are typically taken from another service or initiative.

Polarity Theory

Polarity theory / management simply means the need to consider and manage opposing views.

For example, we need both:

🌀 A fixed AND flexible workforce

🌀 Investment AND efficiency savings

🌀 Competition AND collaboration

🌀 For-profit AND not-for-profit

🌀 Continuity AND discontinuous care

As a leader, your role is to take this into consideration when building your argument and background analysis.

(My MBA in leadership and management in healthcare is still serving me well! 😉)

Okay…. so now you have the background, let's jump in to the video!

We hope this helps.


About the Author

The Business of Healthcare Podcast

Tara and Team THC provide project and network management and training to Primary Care Networks. Between our training programmes, facilitation and interim network programmes, we have now supported over 120 PCNs!

Tara has an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care, is the author of over 200 blogs, and also hosts The Business of Healthcare Podcast.


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