Updated: May 12
As always, we write our content for new Primary Care Network Leaders who are managing a growing team.
Many networks currently have, or will be recruiting to, the Care Coordinator position.
The role of the Primary Care Network Care Coordinator provides networks with lots of flexibility which is excellent; however, due to the varying nature of the role, finding training to support their induction (and ongoing professional and career development) may be a challenge, so we have pooled 13 resources for your consideration.
We have also provided you with:
7 top tips to help you shape the role before you go out to advert
Sample interview questions to support your next hire
Let’s jump in!
A Summary of the DES requirements for a Care Coordinator
The PCN must ensure that the Care Coordinator:
Works with the GPs and other Primary Care professionals within the PCN to identify and manage a caseload of patients and, where required and as appropriate, refer people back to other health professionals within the PCN;
Raises awareness of how to identify patients who may benefit from shared decision-making and support PCN staff and patients to be more prepared to have shared decision-making conversations.
Is enrolled in, undertaking or qualified from appropriate training as set out by the Personalised Care Institute.
Works closely and in partnership with the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s) or social prescribing service provider and Health and Wellbeing Coach(es),
Utilises population health intelligence to proactively identify and work with a cohort of patients to deliver personalised care;
Helps people to manage their needs through answering queries, making and managing appointments, and ensuring that people have good quality written or verbal information to help them make choices about their care, using tools to understand people's level of knowledge, confidence in skills in managing their own health;
Has basic safeguarding processes in place for vulnerable individuals; and
Provides opportunities for the patient to develop friendships and a sense of belonging, as well as to build knowledge, skills and confidence.
Discusses patient-related concerns and be supported to follow appropriate safeguarding procedures (e.g. abuse, domestic violence and support with mental health) with a relevant GP.
For a complete list of the requirements, please see page 99 of the PCN DES.
Before recruiting for the position, please ensure you have:
Clearly defined the role and responsibilities that are required.
Clearly identified some key performance indicators to showcase the benefits and value of the position.
A willing clinical lead who also provides clinical supervision.
Buy-in from the PCN board and support from the practice managers.
An induction plan in place.
Identified some professional development training and resources to support the position.
If nothing else, make sure these are taken care of. It will save you time and spare you of any frustration in the future.
Training Courses and Resources
Care Coordination with a focus on Early Cancer Diagnosis
1. eLearning for Health
The Royal Marsden School, in collaboration with Health Education England South London, has designed an eLearning programme to provide an overview of the key issues in cancer care and to raise awareness of them.
The programme aim is to ensure knowledge for community-based workers about the key aspects of cancer (and its treatment) so that this is embedded into their daily activities, and to inspire them to support clients before, during and after their cancer diagnosis.
2. Understanding the early cancer diagnosis PCN DES
A mini-series of short videos featuring CRUK GPs and Macmillan GPs sharing their tips and advice for the delivery of the PCN DES specification relating to early cancer diagnosis is available here.
3. Early cancer diagnosis quality improvement toolkit (PCN DES)
This early cancer diagnosis quality improvement module supports Primary Care teams in delivering the PCN DES and QoF QI Project for early cancer diagnosis In England (2021/22).
4. GP Contract 2022/23 and cancer: A guide for Primary Care Networks
This guide will help you to understand the GP contract changes in 2022/23. The guide covers the following:
The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)
Investment and Impact fund (IIF)
Primary Care Network Direct Enhanced Service Contract (PCN DES).
5. The PMA
The PMA provide a wide range of courses, one of which is The Business Admin Level 3 apprenticeship with Cancer Care, which has been contextualised and developed with specialist oncology facilitators to support and develop the Cancer Care Navigator workforce.
The apprenticeship is for non-clinical team members responsible for the administration and coordination of care for patients with suspected or confirmed cancer.
6. Wessex Cancer Alliance
West Cancer Alliance has developed many free resources to support the education, training and recruitment for cancer cancer coordinators. These are available here: Cancer Care Coordinator - Welcome to Wessex Cancer Alliance.
7. General Care Coordination Skills
The CareCoordinatorPlus™ Programme offers advanced online training for Care Coordinators working in the NHS.
The CareCoordinatorPlus™ Programme provides Care Coordinators with the essential skills and techniques from our Personalised Care Institute accredited SocialPrescriberPlus programme, as well as the ‘special to role’ skills and approaches needed for the Care Coordinator role.
Who should attend the CareCoordinatorPlus™ Programme?
Newly appointed or currently in-role Care Coordinators who are keen to polish their existing skills and adopt a more professional approach.
Those in other health and caring professions, or with lived experience, who are considering applying for a Care Coordinator role in a Primary Care Network (or voluntary sector scheme).
8. Advanced Training in Personalised Care and Support Planning (PCSP) for Personalised Care roles in PCNs and ICSs.
The Personalised Care and Support Planning Programme is an intensive half-day, online training programme for members of Personalised Care/Social Prescribing Teams (and other healthcare professionals in the community) who may need to use a Personalised Care and Support Planning approach as part of their role.
9. The Care Certificate Programme
The Care Certificate Programme is a set of standards developed for the health and care support workforce, to support their induction and development. The Care Certificate Programme provides a framework to ensure that all support workers have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe, and high-quality care in their workplace settings.
The Care Certificate Programme consists of 15 standards that require both theoretical study and practical application within the learner’s place of work. All elements of the standards must be completed and assessed before certificates are awarded.
10. The Healthy London Partnership
The Healthy London Partnership has lots of resources to support PCN Care Coordinators, covering:
11. Introduction to Medical Terminology
For those brand new and those wishing to brush up on their knowledge, this is a virtual course attended via Teams and delivered over 2x2 hour slots. It's a great starting point in introducing the concept of medical terminology.
Basics of medical terminology: word building.
Interactive tour of the body: anatomy and physiology
Bones of the skeleton
Drug prescribing abbreviations
Hospital specialities and procedures
12. Clinical System training
Depending on where you are in the country, you may be able to access free training on all or any of the following:
EMIS clinical new starter and EMIS non-clinical new starter
SystmOne clinical new starter and SystmOne non-clinical new starter are in development.
13. PCN Induction Programme
At THC, we provide an induction programme for network coordinators who work closely as part of the PCN leadership and management team.
More information can be found here:
We hope this helps!
About the author
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, where we have now published over 200 episodes.
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 250 blogs.
I have 3 children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.