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Those of us working in general practice find ourselves at the beginning of a period of opportunity to rebuild our profession.
In recent years it’s been difficult to envisage such optimism (those have not been the sort of words we have been able to say) when talking about general practice: we have faced endless spiralling demand and dwindling resource, we have constantly had to fight for better and, rightly, we have spoken boldly and unapologetically about the fate facing primary care.
The GP contract reform brought change – and now across England most of the nearly 7,000 GP practices have taken up the PCN (primary care network) directed enhanced service. The BMA drove these changes in negotiations because this new way of working, backed up by new recurrent funding, could change the lives of doctors and patients. PCNs represent an opportunity to transform primary care – by working together, to alleviate workload, close capacity gaps and improve the service we offer to our communities.
It is not solely the remit the of the BMA to negotiate changes to benefit your working lives – but to walk with you as those changes unfold. You have a job to do – and it is our job to make your life easier on the way. And that is why, today, we are launching a new package of support to PCNs and clinical directors.
The package has been developed based around what GPC, LMC and PCN colleagues told us they need during a series of roadshows, webinars, masterclasses and the inaugural PCN conference earlier this year and has now been successfully tested with individuals and groups of PCN clinical directors. It is flexible and wide-ranging and allows different PCNs and Clinical Directors to pick and choose the guidance, support and assistance they need. This is about telling us where you need support – this is not a one-size-fits-all process. Whatever your network set-up, we can provide the tools you need to make it a success, for your practices and for your local community.
The technical process designing this new way of working is now almost behind us and the practical stages are ahead with new leaders driving these changes forward. Our package will give PCNs the opportunity for clinical director learning and development – and features an extensive, tailored, offering with masterclasses, e-learning modules and access to webinars, giving new leaders the tools and resources they need to thrive.
The package also includes access to a PCN app the PCN Community where colleagues can discuss the opportunities and challenges of their work – with all the best features of most social media communications platforms. Discussions can take place by LMC, CCG, region, or nationally – and the BMA will be on hand to support wherever required.
On top of that the package also includes attendance at PCN conferences, HR Support and advice, legal advice from BMA law at preferential rates and a free insurance and indemnity audit.
All this support can be tailored to your needs, with us working with you every step of the way. Whether it’s personal learning, networking, finance or legal advice, you can choose the right support at the right time.
We have been at the heart of the process from the very beginning and we developed this as your representative organisation and the only professional body with the full understanding and vision for the long-term development of PCNs.
This is a time of great opportunity – and we are on hand to support you as your journey progresses.
Find out more about the BMA’s PCN package.
Krishna Kasaraneni is a member of GPC executive