A wide range of new support is available to help practices implement changes to improve access and manage workload more sustainbly. It is coming from a number of different sources, so the PSU has collated this information in one place to help practices make sense of what’s available and plan how to make use of it.
View events relating to funding and support:
- Webinar on support for digital tools. 18 October 2023
- Webinar on funding and support for RAFT. [Postponed]
There are several national & local sources of funding to contribute towards the costs of implementing access improvements and to reward progress. Brief information is given here, with links to more detail where available. Please contact your PCN clinical director or locality manager with queries about any of these funds.
Rather than approaching each of these as separate projects, practices can choose to participate in the RAFT programme, and meet their contractual requirements in the course of making meaningful improvements they have planned together.
Funded switch to cloud based telephony. £90m nationally, 2023/4.
All BSol practices who need this have now applied successfully. Some practices have expressed an interest in learning more about how to optimise the use of callback functions, and this will be addressed through their locality collaborative in the RAFT programme.
Online consultation systems
Funding for OC systems from a new ‘national digital pathways framework’ (expected to be published Aug23). ~£71m nationally, 2023/4
The Provider Support Unit is working closely with the ICB’s digital team to ensure practices have high quality, practical advice about the options once the new framework is published. Where a locality improvement collaborative wishes to focus on digital improvements, the RAFT team will bring in the expertise required to advise and support practices with their planning and implementation of change.
QOF QI: optimising demand and capacity
Rewards for addressing the handling of demand and capacity.
The RAFT programme will help practices’ achievement on this new QOF Quality Improvement indicator (QI016, QI017, QI018 and QI019). A major outcome of several of the Access Actions will be to reduce the number of so-called avoidable appointments, where the patient was booked with the wrong person or at the wrong time, or where self-directed care and automation could have played a part.
QOF QI: staff wellbeing
Rewards for working to improve job-related wellbeing in the practice.
The RAFT programme will help practices’ achievement on these new QOF Quality Improvement indicators (QI013 and QI014). Implementing the Access Actions is expected to improve wellbeing in the practice, through addressing both the volume and appropriateness of work, and reducing frustrations. All practices participating in the RAFT programme will be supported to assess their own situation and measure improvements in staff wellbeing over the next two years.
IIF national capacity & access support payment (70% of the fund)
70% of the capacity & access fund, for purchasing additional capacity and/or improvement support. Disseminated via PCNs. ~£11.5k / PCN pcm.
This is unconditional funding, with no plans or progress reports being required. Read more
IIF local capacity & access improvement payment (30% of the fund)
30% of the capacity & access fund, for purchasing additional capacity and/or improvement support. Disseminated via PCNs. ~£56k / PCN pa. Conditional on demonstrating improvement of:
- patient experience of contact
- ease of access and demand management
- accuracy of the appointment book.
The capacity & access plans submitted in June 2023 outline each PCN’s plan for achieving these improvements. In most cases, participation in the RAFT programme will be the chief means by which practices develop and implement their plans.
BSol Enhanced Support Offer (ESO)
Locally funded scheme to enable practices to engage in service improvement.
This additional contract for GP practices in Birmingham and Solihull provides extra funding for participating in the RAFT programme and addressing local health inequalities.
Transition cover & transformation support
ICB-administered national fund to help with the costs of implementing access improvements, such as attending your RAFT locality collaborative and clearing appointment backlogs. BSol will receive a share of the £88m national fund over 2023 to 2025.
This funding is available for practices who are implementing change, for example as part of the RAFT programme. Its purpose is to contribute towards the staff costs of planning and implementing change, as well as clearing appointment backlogs ahead of going live with a new access system. Each RAFT locality collaborative will help practices create the required plans and progress reports, to minimise the admin burden.
The General Practice Provider Support Unit is able to provide a wide range of support for practices as they plan and implement improvements through the RAFT programme.
Management support and expert facilitation for local improvement collaboratives.
The RAFT locality collaboratives are receiving project management support, venue funding and expert facilitation from the PSU, enabling practices to participate at no cost to themselves. (Several sources of funding listed above contribute to backfill costs.) Our team of Locality Managers provide advice and support to PCN clinical directors and locality teams, and are the first port of call for locality matters.
Peer support team
Trusted advice and support for improving services in the practice.
The peer support team are a well-known source of highly relevant support for practices in implementing improvements. They are part of the new Provider Support Unit, and will be a major part of supporting the RAFT programme.
Advice and procurement support on digital tools for online consultations and automation.
Several of the Access Actions proposed by primary care leaders involve optimising the use of digital tools. The ICB’s digital team are key contributors to the RAFT programme. They are available to produce expert guidance and procurement advice about digital tools, as well as supporting practices in planning to get the most benefit from them.
Care navigation training
Commissioning and funding care navigation training according to practices’ specification.
National funding is available to provide training for one member of staff per practice. BSol practices have told the PSU that training is required for all members of the reception team. The PSU is therefore planning for a new BSol-wide care navigation training programme as part of RAFT. Details are expected in September.
Producing resources & templates
Creation of best practice examples, case studies, templates, etc
When creating plans for improvement, it is often not necessary to reinvent the wheel. There is a wealth of expertise and experience already in practices across BSol and England which can help accelerate local solutions. As part of RAFT, the PSU is developing a series of resources which draw on case studies, literature reviews and expert advice, so practices can make effective changes faster. The resources will cover each of the Access Actions as well as providing practical guidance and templates for implementing change.
Data & analytics
Expertise in designing metrics, collecting and analysing data in ways that serve the practice
The PSU is working to establish a responsive resource of expertise to support practices in using data to inform their work in accessible way. This will include the creation of new measures relating to access and staff wellbeing, standard searches and templates for gathering data, and business intelligence (BI) support to present and analyse it. Read more.
Primary care academy
Free training for clinicians and managers to develop effectiveness as agents for change
Sustainable improvement doesn’t just happen – it takes leadership. The PSU is developing a range of training and coaching offers to help clinicians and managers grow their confidence and effectiveness as agents of change in the practice and locality.