Covid-19: The unexpected enabler of change in primary care

The adoption of change in the NHS has always been fraught with challenges, barriers and, in many cases, more rhetoric than actual change.

The current surge in change improvement forced forward by the current pandemic situation has seen unparalleled change in the adoption of new technologies, ways of working, collaboration and system-wide opportunities to think and work differently, particularly in general practice.

Of course, this still needs to be evaluated and assessed accordingly before declaring what is outstanding and of benefit and what should be ceased.

It’s no surprise that traditional processes and procedures to adopting and leveraging new technologies or ways of working have been skipped to enable rapid adoption – what does this look like in a world where we are looking back and assessing what was successful, what could have been done better and what has not been as fruitful as expected.

Recovery

In assisting in system recovery and normalisation, Attain have identified several domains, with expert input and engagement with existing key clients – GPs, PCNs, Federations and GP Provider organisations as well as CCGs, as main areas of substantial developments in recent weeks and months (or pending development as part of the wider recovery and normalisation effort)– all of which are business critical and cross-cutting / interdependent.

There are 10 domains of challenges and opportunities that are detailed and in order to inform all how to manage the domains in any given area, and be able to make effective decisions, it is essential to understand the geography, system and population and individual needs.

The identified domains central to recovery are supported by a robust, system wide, locally informed information and intelligence approach. These are:­

Within the recovery of local and national health and social care and the ongoing drive towards integrated care and collaboration across health, local authorities, private sector and thirdsector organisations, there is the need to ensure that primary care (and general practice / PCNs specifically) remain buoyant, stable and centrally capable entities. By wrapping primary care goods, services and estates together with effective demand and capacity controls and intelligence, with public health management information and workforce analysis and reporting – and the services of wider health and care organisations – the beginnings of exemplar ICS models appear.

How we are supporting PCNs and general practice

Across the coming weeks and months as systems, CCGs and PCNs work towards the ultimate aim of a newly defined NHS system, it is apparent that there are a number of considerations to be made and a plethora of evaluations, decisions, challenges and opportunities to leverage within each of the phases of progress as they emerge:

  1. Baselining (current state)
  2. Stabilising
  3. Reset/returning; to achieve,
  4. New normal

We are working with NHS partners to develop thinking and solutions across the domains and in response to the phases noted to ensure best practice is not lost, opportunities are realised and that the great strides made in recent weeks are enhanced, meeting the needs of all of the population, prioritised most appropriately with a locally tailored segmentation model to give a transparent and equitable view of the system.

To find out more about our work with general practice and system recovery please contact Stuart.Dryden@attain.co.uk.