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Resources to Build Your Workforce Strategy For Primary Care Network Leaders

Welcome to our blog if you are visiting for the first time, or welcome back to the blog if you are a regular reader.

At THC Primary Care, we create blogs for Primary Care Network leaders, and this week's blog is for you if you are looking to take a more strategic approach to workforce planning.

In the blog titled Strategic Workforce Planning in your Primary Care Network (Understanding the Investment Required), I shared some principles to aid your strategic workforce planning, so your Primary

Care Network and system can better understand the investment required, over and above the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme allocation.

This blog was just a starter for ten, and it didn’t encompass the many other elements which go into making a robust workforce strategy.

The aim of this week's blog is to highlight some further resources and considerations to help you build your workforce strategy and business case, which includes:

1️⃣ A framework to support workforce planning created by Health Education England.

2️⃣ An estates tool kit co-created by the National Association of Primary Care

3️⃣ The NHS health and wellbeing framework

This blog also highlights the benefits of consistent terms and conditions and signposts you to 8 further resources.

Let’s Jump in!

Ardens Manager find out more

Workforce planning Blog Graphic
Workforce planning Blog Graphic

The Recipe for Good Workforce Planning

First up, we have the Recipe for good workforce planning, available on the Health Education England resource hub.

This resource provides a range of documents and resources for the different stages of workforce planning, including sections on:

Whilst the resource has been created to support both a local and regional approach, at a Primary Care Network level, you may need to make some alterations to make this exercise meaningful and applicable for you.

Primary Care Network Estates Planning

We can’t ignore the estates issue. Even with more people, one of the next questions is always going to be, where are we going to put them?

A resource to aid this conversation can be found in the Community Health Partnerships collaboration with the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) Primary Care Network (PCN) Estates Toolkit.

Check this out.

Terms and Conditions

As with all the elements presented in this blog, they are complex and challenging and will require a lot of undoing to create a new structure to build from.

When it comes to the 2-tier general practice and primary care network workforce, terms and conditions present a huge challenge and an opportunity.

Pure Physio MSK find out more

5 benefits of having staff on the same terms and conditions include :

1️⃣ Easier workforce planning from a salary basis due to the cost structure being consistent.

2️⃣ Reduced internal competition for salary.

3️⃣ Promotes trust and transparency, which enhances retention.

4️⃣ Decreases the administrative and mental burden of having to consider the different terms and conditions.

5️⃣ Enhances employee satisfaction as employees know the terms and conditions are fair and transparent.

There will be many more benefits you can add to this list.

In the Fuller Stocktake Report, it does encourage:

Systems to drive a more standardised and improved employment offer for primary care in line with the NHS People Promise: for example, by ensuring parity of access to system staff health and wellbeing hubs and occupational health services, and by encouraging employers to adopt NHS terms and conditions by sharing existing good practice and model contracts.

🤔 Is this a consideration PCNs should start thinking about now if they haven’t already?

Employee Wellbeing

There are various frameworks, initiatives, training, and arrangements to embed employee wellbeing into the fabric of our organisations and networks to create an environment where employees can feel safe, progress and thrive without burning out.

We also need to factor in support for when life events that affect work take place.

Investment in these areas timewise and financially most certainly needs to be incorporated into our workforce plans moving forward.

Check out the NHS health and wellbeing framework for some ideas.

Putting it all together.

To help Primary Care Network leaders build a robust workforce strategy;

1️⃣ Leaders can follow The Recipe for good workforce planning.

2️⃣ Review their estates using the Estates tool kit that was co-created by the National Association of Primary Care.

3️⃣ Review the Fuller Stocktake and the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan to better understand the challenges, opportunities and direction of travel.

4️⃣ Use the principles laid out in our blog titled Strategic Workforce Planning in your Primary Care Network (Understanding the Investment Required) as a starter for ten to build some financial scenarios

5️⃣ And... If you currently do not have a pay policy, your network could start to build one from the template I have provided here.

We hope this helps.

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About the Author

The Business of Healthcare Podcast with Tara Humphrey blog graphic

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. Find out more about THC Primary Care at


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