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 will include 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 local showcase events, webinars and conferences.  A new social online repository of innovations will also be created to make it easy to find, discuss and share successful changes.

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.

Getting started with your Time for Care programme – holding a local showcase event

To get started on your Time for Care programme we will ask you to host a 10 High Impact Actions showcase event.  A showcase event will enable your practices to discuss and confirm their priorities for action. The next recommended step will be to plan a local Time for Care programme to implement the changes safely and rapidly.

Find out more about holding a showcase event.

Time for Care Champions

We will build 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 will provide practical support for them to actually implement change. Every practice in the country will have the opportunity to join a local Time for Care programme up to August 2018.

How will this help?

It will help 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 will also strengthen collaboration among local practices, with a focus on improving patient care.

How will it work?

National expertise and resources will be 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 will help 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 will be designed with local leaders, with the support of your appointed development adviser, to ensure it meets your needs and aligns with other practice development plans locally. A wide menu of support can be drawn on, and no two programmes are likely to be the same.

The core of your programme will be 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 will be 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 will be 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 will be on hand to help with this, and regular gatherings will provide clinicians and managers with the opportunity to share progress, challenges and solutions.

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

Optional extras

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

  1. Where appropriate, high quality resources such as learning materials and ready-made templates or protocols will be available, to speed the process of planning and implementing change in the practice.
  2. Support will be available for the leadership teams of local practice collaborations (e.g. a federation) to grow as an effective leadership team and board. This could include undertaking a board self-assessment or receiving team coaching.
  3. Some practices may wish to go further in implementing changes, and there will be 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 will not appeal to all practices, but they will make faster progress. They will also be able to act as local beacons for others. For this reason, some groups may want to use this option during the preparation phase, to create early momentum before the full group of practices begins the workshops programme. The development adviser will be able to support the leadership team in planning how best to approach this for local circumstances.
  4. We hope every practice over the next five years will make use of the new funding being distributed via CCGs to support staff training and online consultations. This will often work best when planned in conjunction with your Time for Care programme.

Assess your readiness

Preparation is crucial to running a successful programme of change in practices. Factors such as practice engagement, partnership with patients and other local stakeholders, alignment with wider developments and the support of the local commissioner are all important.

We have prepared a simple checklist for you to take stock of the readiness to host a successful Time for Care programme.  This draws on the evidence from collaboratives around the world.

Find out more

Dates for webinars taking place in 2017 will be shared soon. In the meantime you can view a previously recorded webinar here.