Releasing time for care

At the heart of our development programme for general practice, we will spread awareness of innovations that release time for care and facilitate local change programmes to implement them. It is estimated that most practices can expect to release about 10 per cent of GP time.

Spreading the 10 High Impact Actions

Using a variety of means we will give every practice in England the chance to learn about proven innovations that release time for care, this includes working in conjunction with the primary care improvement faculty from the Sustainable Improvement team. Faculty members include jobbing general practice team members, ex-commissioners and improvement specialists holding improvement expertise and particular sector experience. We will continue to gather practical case studies and share them through Releasing Capacity in General Practice.

Gathering actionable learning about successful innovations

We will spread actionable learning about new ways of working that release staff time, particularly GPs. Wherever possible, the highlighted innovations will also add value for patients, for example through improving access or introducing an enhanced service.

The use of videos and personal testimonies is important alongside written case study materials, to convey the reality and experience of successful change. These will all be available online, with opportunities for practices to add their own examples and ask questions of others in discussion forums. The temporary store of case materials created for the first series of showcase events.

Time for Care Champions

We are building a broad community of Champions, including clinicians, managers, patients and others. If you are interested in becoming a Time for Care Champion, spreading awareness of the 10 High Impact Actions, email the General Practice Development Team.

Your own Time for Care programme

In addition to sharing examples of what practices can do to release time for care, we are providing practical support for them to actually implement change. Every practice has been given the opportunity to join a local Time for Care programme up to August 2018. Practical support is continuing to be provided to practices.

How does this help?

It helps practices implement change to release time more quickly, safely and sustainably. The evidence to date indicates that most practices could expect to release about 10 per cent of GP time over a 9-12 month period. It also strengthens collaboration among local practices, with a focus on improving patient care.

How does it work?

National expertise and resources are used to facilitate locally hosted collaborative action learning programmes, supporting groups of practices to come together, learn about proven innovations of interest, agree priorities for action, and implement changes that release time for care.

In most cases, it is expected that a programme will be convened for a natural grouping of practices such as the members of a CCG. This change programme helps practices to implement at least one of the 10 High Impact Actions, drawing on the experience of others, experts in improvement science and the support of the whole group. The programme is designed with local leaders, with the support of an appointed development adviser, to ensure it meets local needs and aligns with other practice development plans locally. A wide menu of support can be drawn on, and no two programmes are the same.

The core of your programme is a series of facilitated workshops. Workshops will be facilitated by members of the national primary care improvement faculty hosted by NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team. They are highly interactive, incorporating opportunities to learn from other practices around the country, share ideas with local peers, develop new insights into successful approaches to leading change and create practical plans for the practice.

Early stages are focused on agreeing your priorities for action. We can connect you with others who have already implemented the High Impact Actions your practices are interested in, so you can more quickly make plans that will succeed. Once you have agreed the changes you wish to make, the next stage will be to design your new way of working, plan precisely how to implement it, and use the best of improvement science to get it into action quickly and in a measured way. National experts are on hand to help with this, and regular gatherings  provide clinicians and managers with the opportunity to share progress, challenges and solutions.

Most practices send the practice manager and a senior clinician to the programme of workshops. Once the details of the local programme are agreed, practices are asked to commit to engage in mutual learning and practical change.

Additional Support

A menu of additional support will also be available for local leadership, helps strengthen federation teams and build capacity and capability for service improvement. This is provided alongside any other consultancy or support procured locally. Your development adviser helps you to put together the most appropriate tailored plan for your practices.

  1. Some practices wish to go further in implementing changes, and there is sufficient funding for up to a quarter to receive packages of on-site support from the Productive General Practice Quick Start programme, a hands-on, short term support package for practices that forms part of a local Time for Care programme.  Alongside the 10 High Impact Actions it aims to help practices release time for care and build improvement capability.  The focus is on fast, practical improvement to help reduce pressures and release efficiencies within general practices.  A higher level of commitment is required, and this does not appeal to all practices, but they make faster progress. They can also act as local beacons for others. For this reason, some groups have used this option during the preparation phase, to create early momentum before the full group of practices begins the workshops programme. The development adviser supports the leadership team in planning how best to approach this for local circumstances.
  2. We hope every practice over the remaining years of the General Practice Forward View will make use of the funding distributed via CCGs to support staff training and online consultations. This often works best when planned in conjunction with your Time for Care programme.