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Working out whether or not to hire a Primary Care Network Digital and Transformation Lead?

Updated: Apr 4

At THC, we create resources for primary care network leaders, and we were recently approached by a PCN looking to hire a digital and transformation lead and felt the advice I shared would make a good blog.

If you are struggling to find a digital and transformation lead, or are unsure of what you want to be delivered, here are some questions for you to consider - with the aim that you can:

1️⃣ . Create a more tailored job description to find your ideal recruit.

2️⃣ . Clarify the expectations of the role with your colleagues.

3️⃣ . Identify the skills and level of experience you are looking for. Let’s jump in!

Where to start...

I suggest you involve your CD and practice managers and work through these questions collaboratively in your next PCN management meeting:

1️⃣. What is the problem you are trying to solve?

2️⃣. What data do you already have?

3️⃣. Do you understand your data but do not have the time to move forward, or do you need further support to understand what is being presented?

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4️⃣. Have you asked your practice managers what would make their lives easier (within reason😄)? This may help you to identify a meaningful area to explore which has the backing of your network from the beginning.

5️⃣. What feedback is your primary care network team giving you? Could one of them lead on a project? 6️⃣. What services are not performing well or have greater capacity and enhanced access potential?

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7️⃣. Do you want a digital and transformation lead, or are you looking to use the funding to hire a PCN Manager?

8️⃣. Do you need someone with extensive systems knowledge to conduct in-depth digital analysis and build custom dashboards?

9️⃣. Or, are you looking for someone to be able to run relatively simple audits that cover

  • Service utilisation/appointment data

  • Segmenting patient cohorts by age, location, last visit, medication, gender, etc.

  • Did not attend (DNA) rates.

  • Inconsistencies with the data.

  • Is the duplication inefficient in the process?

  • Updating codes to patient records to improve reports and the identification of patients

(We can do this at THC btw.)

1️⃣ 0️⃣. Do you have a digital champion with the time to train someone with systems experience?

1️⃣ 1️⃣. Do you want a permanent role, or do you have a defined project in mind?

What are your deal breakers?

A. Do they need to be on-site five days a week?

B. Do they need to know how to use your clinical system, or would you be willing to train them, or fund a training course?

C. Do they need to be an employee, or could you hire a contractor?

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Next Steps

Once you have answered the questions above, identify your next three steps to help you move forward.

Lastly, the question we always receive is, can the digital and transformation lead be the PCN manager?

Yes. Some PCNs have combined the PCN Manager role and the Digital and Transformation Lead role as there is a clear cross-over.

If you are looking for more support, please check out a dedicated resource library for Digital and Transformation Leads here.

We hope this helps!


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About the Author

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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