Although only practices themselves can change the way they work, to release time for care, the involvement and support of the local commissioner is essential to getting the most out of this programme.
We encourage clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) whose practices are considering submitting an Expression of Interest [link] to collaborate with them in assessing readiness and beginning preparation. In particular, CCGs may be able to support success in the following ways:
- Join one of the regular webinars to learn more about this programme and how to get the most from it.
- Meet with practices to consider how best to align a local Time for Care programme with other provider development plans. This is likely to include your Practice Resilience work, as well as other support for leadership and federation development.
- Build capacity in local teams involved in supporting practice development. These are often based in the CCG but are increasingly part of federations and other at-scale provider collaborations. If growing these teams, it is worth considering whether they have all the right capabilities for facilitating general practices in rapid service redesign. CCGs are welcome to suggest staff from their own practice development teams for entry to the Quality Improvement Facilitator training programme, along with staff from practices and federations.
- Make it easier for senior GPs and practice managers to engage in the core workshops as part of a Time for Care programme. Some CCGs may offer backfill, while others will prefer to provide funding for cover from the out of hours service (a practice which a number of CCGs, including Sheffield and Southwark, have found effective).
- Inform practices as early as possible how you intend to arrange the distribution of centrally allocated funding for reception and clerical staff training and for online consultation systems. Some CCGs are already considering making their own investments in addition to the funding available from the national general practice development programme, as part of their commitment to the sustainability and transformation of local services.
- Support your development adviser in identifying the best ways to draw on or align with the input of development providers already contracted to support your practices.