Making PCN toolkits work for you

PCN toolkits are being rolled out across the country, designed to collect and analyse data which will help ICBs forward plan to make informed decisions about future funding allocations.

The toolkit provides PCNs with a consistent way of creating estates strategies, by prepopulating data benchmarked to national standards, and including key statistics on local population projections, demographics, health needs and the impact this will have on GP contact rates.

But once you’ve got your PCN toolkit data, that’s only the start. You need to work out how best to use the data to create strategies and identify priorities that will help you improve the service you provide for your patients.

The Shared Agenda team have been working with Humber and North Yorkshire ICB to create and deliver best value from their PCN toolkits.

They held several workshops with each PCN in the area, initially presenting them with the information from the baseline toolkit, and ensuring that any gaps are filled, and any inaccuracies corrected.

Next, Shared Agenda talked with the PCNs about their challenges and priorities, what they’re already doing to solve their issues, and where further action is urgently needed.

Finally, the Shared Agenda team worked through possible solutions with each PCN, which could include fairly modest interventions such as extending opening hours, converting underused spaces to clinical use, and sharing space with other public sector organisations, through to major projects involving the construction of extensions and new buildings, where this is needed to meet levels of demand.

The workshops leave each PCN with a list of priorities, and ways in which they can start resolving their biggest estates issues, giving them a way to move forward to get maximum value from their estates assets.

Stephanie Porter, Assistant Director of Estates, Humber and North Yorkshire ICB said: “Working through our PCN toolkit data with the Shared Agenda team has really helped us clarify our primary care requirements over the next few years, and helped align our estates goals to our clinical plan. The workshops Shared Agenda held with the practices have enabled us to focus on our priorities, make the best use of assets we already have, and also to think innovatively about what we can do to make our services better for both staff and patients. We’ve really valued how engaged practices have been to produce a valued piece of strategic thinking.”

This isn’t the end of the value of PCN toolkits. In the hands of estates experts, they can bring even more value to your organisation. Once you’ve compiled your PCN estates strategies, next steps include the collation of PCN strategies to create an overall place or ICB-level strategy, and then the compilation of an ICB infrastructure strategy. Both allow prioritisation and the identification of primary issues, and allow you to make informed investment decisions with very limited capital funding. It’s also important to keep the toolkit up to date, to ensure the value of having accurate data to hand to inform strategic priorities is not lost over time.

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you get maximum value from your PCN toolkit, get in touch.