• Tara Humphrey

The Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme | Challenges and Some Potential Solutions

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

While the additional role reimbursement scheme provides a great opportunity to expand the primary care workforce, foster greater collaboration and increase access to care, unfortunately the opportunity isn’t without its challenges.

To these challenges, there are some solutions to explore:

The challenge of recruitment

It’s a competitive market at the moment and recruitment in some areas has been tough due to salary expectations, terms and conditions, lack of time and mounting pressures to get things in place.

If the people are in fact there to recruit, then we need to make our proposition attractive and we need to sell and market ourselves creatively. Networks need to help bring their job descriptions alive, market their networks online and share their vision creatively.

Not everyone is driven by the highest salary. New recruits need to know where they will fit, how important the role is, who the team are and the culture of the network to help inform their decision making.

Make the most of virtual working, flexibility and the chance to shape a role or lead on a service because they are all assets worth highlighting.

Expense V Investment

100% reimbursement for a role is a very attractive proposition, however I fear that this is preventing some networks from fully investing in the position like they would if it was a member of their own practice team.

Don’t hire under duress or put more barriers in front of you. View these new roles as an investment rather than an additional expense or drain on your time, and try these steps:

  1. Revisit your mission and values of the network with your practices.

  2. Appraise the new role descriptors and talk with other PCNs to see how they are incorporating new roles

  3. Seek support. The NHS Sustainable Improvement Team and Time for Care provide hands on facilitation for networks who are looking for support with how they manage access, demand and capacity. Other agencies like the National Association for Primary Care also can provide support.

Essentially, this is about gaining clarity on Who, what, why, where, when and how which will aid your decision making and mindset regarding the additional role reimbursement scheme.

The challenge of support

The introduction of multiple roles, if networks want to retain these members of staff, is going to require support and clinical supervision.

Each practice has a role to play and needs to invest their time and maybe some additional funds to invest in either dedicated workforce leads or workforce leads shared across the network.

The overall purpose of this support is to:

  • Develop and promote primary care’s expanding workforce.

  • Embed a culture of protected time for teaching and learning that can flex with service demand.

  • Create a transparent induction and training plan for network staff.

  • Ensure all roles are supported by clinical supervision.

Integrating new roles into your network

As a network manager I could not write this blog without highlighting the need for planning and preparation.

Making the assumption the roles you have agreed to employee are whole heartedly wanted, ensure you have a robust induction plan in place which again emphasises to the who, what, why, where, when and how.

Proactively introduce new team members to practices, welcome them in meetings, have a plan, but be flexible and have contingencies in place.

Most of all, whatever their employment arrangement, make them feel part of your team and each practice. Time consuming yes… but a worthwhile investment.

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 180 blogs also hosts The Business of Healthcare Podcast.

Find out more about THC Primary Care at www.thcprimarycare.co.uk

And follow Tara on Twitter @THCPrimarycare

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