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I hope the title of this blog is not too alarming – it is not intended to be so, but it does highlight the amount of time we all have to make some important decisions. We have four weeks to complete the network agreement and Schedule 1. That means: deciding who is in your network, what it is called, who is going to receive the funding, who the clinical director is how to meet and make decisions. Of course, other decisions will need to be made that fit into the other schedules and while there is a delay for those to be completed, it might be sensible to think about it all together – maybe in an extended meeting of your PCN members.
Get talking with your colleagues around you. Get talking with your LMC to make sure that you get to lead this journey.
Get in touch with the BMA – the national voice of your PCNs – so that you hit the ground running and make it work for you, your colleagues and your patients. We have produced a suite of resources to help GPs and LMCs make the most of the opportunities that PCNs offer general practice and I thought it would be useful to set these out in one place.
The handbook provides advice and offers options to groups of practices looking to establish a PCN. Most of the major elements are inter-dependent and so conversations and decisions should not be made in isolation; it is advisable to read the whole of the document before making decisions. This handbook will continue to be updated and provides a list of amendments as the process evolves.
PCN Checklist and template agenda
The checklist will serve as an aid memoir as you go through the decisions that need to be made to create your network. The simple template should support PCNs to organise meetings and together with the checklist should guide you through the decisions.
PCN discussion forum
We’ve created a listserver for those establishing a PCN to engage with each other. At present there are about 330 people on it but there is space for more.
PCN Clinical Directors Conference, 5 June 2019 at the BMA House in London – save the date
Funded by the GPDF, the event is available to all named PCN Clinical Directors – remember they should all be known by 15 May as part of the submission. In addition to plenary, workshops and networking opportunities, we will have BMA Law providing legal clinics, and medical career coaching sessions.
Learning and Development support for Clinical Directors
The BMA supports the clinical and non-clinical learning needs of clinicians. We provide webinars, masterclasses, e-learning modules and coaching for clinical directors, including leadership and management, strategic planning and relationship management.
General policy support
Available to BMA members and LMCs. BMA members can contact us by emailing [email protected] and LMCs can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected]. We are the ones who negotiated the PCN DES and can provide the supporting information.
BMA members can also get the HR and employment support they need
The BMA’s Employers Advisory Service has draft contracts and employment policies which we can tailor to your PCN’s needs, for Clinical Directors, Clinical Pharmacists, Social Prescribers and Business/Operations Managers. Contact EAS to discuss your specific requirements.
General legal support for all, as well as BMA Law packages of specific support
In addition to the webinars we’ve had so far, we’re providing a PCN legal clinic (30 minute telephone call with an expert lawyer at BMA Law about setting up a PCN) as well as legal experts at our clinical directors conference.
BMA Law has prepared two packages of support, one bespoke per PCN, and one a locality proforma service – more details about the packages as well as the clinics, are available here.
Finally, make sure you familiarise yourself (if you haven’t already) with the national contract and guidance documents.
Armed with all the above you should know what you need to do, be able to meet and make the decisions required, and know where to go for help.
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