PCN Leadership Development

19 August 2021 

Primary care networks (PCNs) form a key element of the NHS long-term plan. GPs working together at scale is important for reasons including:

  • Improving the ability to recruit and retain staff;
  • Managing financial and estates pressures;
  • Providing a wider range of services to patients, and;
  • Integrating more easily with the wider health and care system.

Given their long-term importance, NHSE are funding the development of PCNs and require that at least 10% of this budget must be invested in leadership development. Our team recently delivered a leadership development programme, and here's a flavour of what we did:

The Challenge

South Warwickshire GP Federation were looking to deliver a leadership development programme across 7 Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The programme was aimed at Clinical Directors and their representatives in South Warwickshire to support leaders in being able to successfully define and deliver against their PCN objectives. With delegates from a range of clinical and non clinical backgrounds, leadership experience was varied amongst delegates so the course needed to be designed and delivered in a way that would accommodate these differing levels of experience. The programme was initially designed to be delivered face to face but when COVID hit, the challenge was to maintain the quality of delivery within a remote environment.

The Action

Through Agencia’s Primary Care Direct service, we designed a course that was flexible to accommodate the learning needs of each individual. In addition to the overarching objectives of the Clinical Commissioning Group, delegates had their own personal objectives for the programme, including how to successfully lead across multiple practices, how to effectively deliver remote leadership across a PCN, how effective leadership can support delivery of PCN goals and how to inspire people through effective communication of the PCN vision.

Our approach was to incorporate a variety of delivery methods that could be implemented remotely. This included bespoke interactive workshops, incorporating case studies, group exercises and an opportunity to reflect on how learning could be implemented. These workshops were supported by the opportunity for each individual to complete a leadership styles questionnaire and receive individual coaching from our team of experts. Recognising that this group of senior leaders also needed to be given ‘head space’ to absorb and reflect on their learning to enable effective implementation was a priority, we provided this time in a structured and supported environment.

The Results

Between July 2020 and February 2021, 29 delegates from across 7 PCNs attended 6 workshops and individual coaching sessions. Despite being run remotely, the sessions were practical and interactive with the opportunity for shared learning.

The sessions were delivered through the height of the vaccine roll out, yet the Clinical Directors and their teams continued to attend the workshops and were able to start applying their learning to support their immediate challenges. Delivering this programme remotely provided a level of flexibility for participants that would not have been possible if it had been delivered face to face.

Feedback from delegates was extremely positive, with delegates commenting that the content was ‘thought provoking’ and ‘very useful to apply to an existing scenario’. One manager commented:

‘It’s been a very useful reflective exercise for me and has allowed me to see where I can improve to get better outcomes.’

Let's Talk

So, can we help develop your leaders too?

We can provide both online or in-person training for PCN Managers, GPs, Clinical Directors and Practice Managers, offering support in areas such as:

  • Equip leaders with an understanding of self-awareness
  • Provide insight to Integrated Care Systems
  • Equip leaders with tools to maximise personal effectiveness
  • Show the importance of relationships and how to build them
  • What is Health & Well Being and why it is important in leadership

And much more.

To have a chat about how we can help your PCN with leadership development, contact us at info@primarycaredirect.co.uk - we'd love to have a chat.

Take a look at our Learning and Development page for a full list of our leadership services.

About Us

Primary Care Direct provide a 'one stop shop' of professional services helping primary care transform, grow and thrive.

To find out more, please see our About page or contact us.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

We are a service of Agencia Ltd who are a team of industry experts providing services in Justice, Policing & Security, Health & Social Care, and Investigations. We are a family-owned business operating for over 23 years and have delivered more than 450 contracts worldwide.

Primary Care Direct


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