• Tara Humphrey

The Role of the Primary Care Network Administrator


There is one role in the Primary Care Network (PCN) which is seldom talked about.


I believe this is the role of the PCN administrator, otherwise known as the

  • Care Coordinator

  • Project Coordinator

  • Network Coordinator

  • Or something similar

This role can often have a low profile, but when you find the right person, they are absolute gold.


In this week's blog post, I would like to take a few minutes today to discuss the role of the Primary Care Network Administrator and provide some insight into:


  1. The main duties of the role

  2. The skills and experience that are necessary for the position

  3. Challenges the role can face

  4. How PCNs can fund this role

  5. How networks can embed this role



Main duties of the role


PCN Administrator job descriptions are wide and varied, but as a minimum, I believe the following activities will create tremendous value for PCN Managers, Clinical Directors and the whole of the network.


The main duties of the role include:

  • Diarising and administrating meetings

  • Managing Protected Learning Time events and organising PCN-wide training

  • Ensuring actions log items are progressed

  • Supporting the induction of new members of staff

  • Compiling newsletters and PCN-wide communications

  • Compiling reports

  • Compiling impact and investment fund searches

  • Ensuring financial information is recorded and filed correctly

  • Ensuring distribution lists are kept up to date

  • To communicate risks and issues

  • Monitoring the DES workstreams and completing a monthly tracker

  • Responding to patient enquiries


Skills, experience and attributes

  • Excellent communication skills, both written, over the phone and face to face

  • Excellent use of the Microsoft Office package

  • A positive and can-do attitude

  • Proactive and able to work independently

  • The ability to work to deadlines calmly

  • Flexible

  • Detail orientated

  • Resilient

  • The ability to organise competing priorities


Whilst the experience of working in a health care setting will, of course, help, it's not essential.


As long as you provide a robust induction, clear instructions, and opportunities to enhance any areas that need improving, someone who loves an administrative, fast-paced and varied role will be great in this position.

Challenges that can be encountered in the PCN Administration role


As with all of the roles within the Primary Care Network, some of the challenging aspects of the role will include:


  • Navigating multiple GP Practices and personnel. It takes time to understand how each practice likes to work and be communicated with.

  • Managing conflicting needs and wants from each practice.

  • Also, if your network doesn’t have a manager, the Administrator may experience being given more and more responsibilities when they feel they haven’t been given the training or the authority.

  • Their job title and pay may also not reflect their increasing responsibilities.


How can Primary Care Networks fund this role?


This role can be funded using the following funding streams

  • Core funding

  • The Impact and Investment Fund

  • The Leadership and Management Fund

I’m also aware of networks using the care coordinator funding stream within the additional roles reimbursement scheme to fund this position.


You could even pool your PCN practice participation reimbursement, the £1.76 per patient, to fund this role. Just an idea!


Why would we need an Administrator if we have a

Manager?


Freeing your manager from the administrative aspects of the network will give them more time to lead and manage the network.


Look at the activities your manager is spending a lot of time on, and see if this can be delegated to an administrator to help ensure you are using your manager to the best of your abilities.


Top tips for embedding your PCN Administrator


  1. Ensure they have introductory meetings with key members within your network. This includes the Practice Managers

  2. Include your administrator in your weekly leadership and management meetings

  3. Give them defined workstreams to lead on

  4. Provide them with the contact details of each practice and the mobile number(s) of your Clinical Director and the PCN Manager (if you have one)

  5. Create a shared drive to store PCN documents

  6. Talk them through the projects being delivered

  7. Ensure they have access to a working laptop and access to your clinical systems and subscriptions

  8. Share with them the network’s key stakeholders

  9. Share the network’s meeting schedule

  10. Share the channels the network uses to communicate

  11. Talk them through network roles that are in place: Who are they? Where do they work? Who do they report to? What are they currently focusing on? What HR structure is in place?

  12. Share the network’s business and workforce plan.


We hope this helps and the perfect accompaniment to this blog is What does a PCN Manager Do? Please click here.






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.


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 245 blogs.


I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic SyndromeNephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.


Find out more about THC Primary Care and follow me on Twitter.