PCN - Workforce
Additional workforce will be introduced and partially-funded through the Network. The number will build up over the five years, so by 2024 there should be an additional 22,000 staff in primary care as follows:
- From 2019, each network should be able to employ one clinical pharmacist and one social prescriber.
- From 2020, funding will increase to enable the additional employment of first contact physiotherapists and physicians associates.
- From 2021, all of the above will increase and community paramedics will be introduced.
- From 2022, all of the above workforce will be increased so that by 2024 a typical network will receive 5 clinical pharmacists (equivalent of one per practice), three social prescribers, three first contact physiotherapists, two physicians associates and one community paramedic.
There will be some flexibility around numbers and professions within networks.
NHS England will fund 70% of each professional including their on-costs. Networks will need to fund the additional 30% themselves. The exception is social prescribers, which NHS England will fund 100% including on-costs.
In November 2019 NHSE agreed to extend the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) funding for social prescribers, following calls from the GPC, LMCs and PCNs. Many organisations supplying a Social Prescriber Link Worker Service (SPLW) are passing on additional costs over and above the equivalent of the actual salary (plus on costs), for example in administration fees. The ARRS scheme is being updated, so that where a PCN engages a SPLW service through a supplier, a PCN will be able to claim an additional flat rate sum of £2,400 per SPLW (on an annual WTE basis and will be pro-rata to both WTE and duration of the roles providing the service as appropriate) as a contribution toward those additional costs. This must be affordable within the existing maximum annual reimbursable amount for social prescribing link workers. This will apply to any existing supply arrangements for SLPWs and any new supply arrangements for SPLWs agreed from this point forward.
Details on the ARRS can be found in the Network Contract DES - Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme Guidance
The network will need to decide how the additional workforce is employed (ie by a single lead practice, by an organisation (eg a Federation or community trust) on behalf of the network, or different professionals being employed by different practices within the network). The workforce may be employed in these ways but must provide services for the Network rather than individual practices.
The workforce and network will be led by a Clinical Director, chosen from within the clinicians of each network. This Clinical Director will be funded – an average of a day a week for a network of 40,000 patients (including on-costs) from new funding provided by NHS England.
Health Education England have funded opportunities for "Pre-registration Pharmacists in General Practice 2021/22. This maybe of interest to PCNs looking to engage and fill clinical pharmacy roles. An expression of interest process will be launched in December 2019 (open until mid-January) for employers wishing to host trainees in partnership with general practice. Further information on the host requirements, including remuneration, can be found in the attached document.
NHSE & I are holding a joint event with the Primary Care Pharmacy Association entitled Establishing Clinical Pharmacy in a PCN on Tuesday 28 January 2020. Click here for details.