Primary Care Networks – additional roles, funding and support
The number of eligible roles which Primary Care Networks can now obtain funding for was expanded in April 2020 from two to nine, with further expansion planned in 2021/22 as set out in chapter 1 of the Update to the GP Contract 2020/21.
The new roles include: – physician associates, health and wellbeing coaches, care coordinators, podiatrists, dieticians, occupational therapists and pharmacy technicians.
In addition to the above it has recently been announced that from 1 October 2020 nursing associates will be added to the list of eligible roles.
The updated GP contract provided entitlement to 100% reimbursement for an estimated 9,000 FTEs in 2020/21 under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), rising to 26,000 in 2023/24. This equates to every PCN having an average of 7-8 staff funded by the ARRS in post in March 2021.
Every CCG has a responsibility to help all their PCNs recruit, supporting them to use their allocation of funding and get their share of the additional roles in place.
Where recruitment has been delayed due to the initial pandemic response, PCNs are entitled to ‘overrecruit’ for the final 6-9 months of the year (i.e. beyond the average 7- 8 staff) in order to use their full funding allocation.
NHS England have warned recently that the funding may be lost if not spent on recruiting these additional roles.
An acceleration in social prescribing link workers has also been useful during COVID to support general practice and additional funding has been directed in this area. Any PCN looking to expand the number of DES funded support workers should submit an expression of interest with NHS England by 24 August 2020.
PCNs need to recognise alongside CCG’s a structure for support, workforce planning and role design, embedding of new roles, and development of effective teams.
Employment liabilities, access to pension and VAT are all key considerations still at the forefront for the planning and structuring of PCNs.
MHA Moore and Smalley have a team of Healthcare specialist accountants who would be happy to assist your PCN.
Please get in touch with Susan Charnock, Healthcare Services Senior Client Manager if you need support, or alternatively contact us here.