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Last week we hosted the inaugural PCN CDs conference at BMA House. Most of the nearly 300 colleagues who attended the conference were new faces to me. A new generation, not just in terms of how they looked, but in terms of leadership styles and a fresh outlook to support practices working together. While it is too early to say if PCNs will achieve everything set out in the contract reform document, the energy in the room last week was very positive to see.
We were able to provide clinical directors with practical workshops on different topics, to help them build their networks ahead of the 1 July milestone of PCNs becoming operational. While the talks and workshops were informative and interesting, what I found most interesting was the individual anecdotes and experiences from these new clinical directors.
I heard first-hand about how they want their PCNs to develop and what support their PCNs and they themselves will need to get there. This was very informative for me as we prepare for the next round of negotiations; hearing directly from clinical directors is vitally important.
The feedback from the conference has been very positive, especially the elements regarding individual leadership and management. Next week we’re holding a leadership and management masterclass for PCN clinical directors, which, like the conference, has received very high uptake. Clearly clinical directors are enthusiastic about taking on the mantle of supporting general practice to work together around the sound base of a list-based, independent contractor model of general practice.
Building on this enthusiasm from clinical directors around the country, we are developing a new package of support for PCNs and their clinical directors. It will be launched soon and will focus on supporting PCNs to develop and advance so they can realise the benefits and overcome the challenges.
We will release more detailed information in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please keep in touch with developments via the BMA, your LMC, CCG and NHS England. The challenges and opportunities offered by PCNs will be new to many of us. Please tell us what you need and we will try our best, working with your LMCs, to support you.
Krishna Kasaraneni is a member of GPC executive
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