A new ‘how to’ guide has been launched to help primary care networks start work on their premises to meet the challenges of integrated care.
The guide, titled Primary Care Networks: critical thinking in developing an estate strategy, aims to support PCNs in delivering expanded services and new ways of integrated working to realise the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Produced by NHS estates experts, Community Health Partnerships (CPH), in collaboration with the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), the guide is expected to help PCNs tackle many complex issues around estate development, including population health needs, and the importance of ensuring buildings are both sustainable and inclusive.
Dr Sue O’Connell, CHP chief executive, said: “As a former GP and via my work at CHP, I have seen first-hand how focusing on fit for purpose community-based estate is a catalyst for transformational service change. By providing patients with well-organised services in high quality, accessible facilities which suit them, we achieve better health outcomes.
“When staff are given the chance to work in good quality, well-designed buildings which allow them to collaborate, there’s a lot of evidence to show this helps with recruitment and retention. By making better use of poorly-used primary care premises we save money which can then be used to develop new and better ways of working.”
The guide also includes practical tips, key questions PCNs should ask themselves at the outset of developing an estate strategy and an initial framework to help them get started.
Dr James Kingsland, national clinical director at NAPC, said: “Many PCNs are struggling to get to grips with the challenge of developing an estate strategy and don’t know where to start. Now they have a valuable tool, in the form of this new guide, to help them take those first, all-important steps.”