South East Region Primary Care Transformation Programme


As in many parts of the country, demand on the South East primary care services places significant pressures on capacity so it is important we make the best use of resources and embrace new models of care. There is huge value in bringing practice staff with different skills and perspectives together. By working collaboratively, there is opportunity to learn from each other and become a more efficient and sustainable group of practices. This platform has been developed as a “one stop shop” for colleagues working in Primary Care to access a suite of support materials under the umbrella of the Primary Care Transformation areas of work.

This currently includes supporting Workforce Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, Digital Access and National Communications Assets, with further updates coming soon from other areas of work. The intent is to help support ICBs, PCNs and Practices across the South East region moving into Modern General Practice working. The platform includes key guidance documents, helpful hints and tips, and further information on NHS programmes, including national campaign assets for practices to utilise. We hope that you find it useful, and you can contact our Primary Care Transformation programme with any queries at england.seprimarycaretransformationteam@nhs.netTim Caroe, Medical Director, Primary Care Transformation  Primary Care Transformation Programme – NHS England South East Region.

General practice continues to sit at the heart of our NHS. It has pioneered the use of technology to deliver safe and effective care and has adapted to the needs of its growing and ageing population. The past few years have been some of the most challenging faced by general practice professionals. With ever increasing demand in winter, it is likely that there will be further challenges in the months to come. Since the pandemic, caring for patients digitally has become a reality and our programme has accumulated materials to support practices to deliver digital tools in practice further enabling patients to get the right care when needed.

That is why it is more important than ever to learn how to work differently: to see benefits generating practice resilience and making the working lives of staff more straightforward. This will also increase patient confidence in utilising services to better understand not only how to access their practice but how to use the various services such as pharmacy to ensure they get the service they need when they need it, and to ensure our services remain inclusive and accessible to all.

The NHS England South East Primary Care Transformation programme team works with six Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), and Approximately 218 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) across the South East to help transform the way patients access and receive primary care services.

Our main focus is to support our workforce to deliver the best quality healthcare to patients in the most efficient time to improve outcomes for patients and practice staff. This includes further improvements to access aligned with the Primary Care Access Recovery Plan (PCARP) to help practices provide sufficient capacity to meet demand.  We have continued to increase capacity within general practice through further funding for an even wider variety of ARRS roles.  We are also providing support to enable improvement and transformation in primary care so that services are more sustainable delivering integration of primary care, community and social care services.  Additional focus is on broadening the use of digital tools to support patient access and improve practice efficiency whilst ensuring that those who are not digitally enabled are not disadvantaged.

Our continued ethos is around codesign with the sector and to support General Practice in terms of their increasing capacity and leadership capability.  We continue to work with primary care colleagues to increase the quality and use of data to support operational decision making including population health management tools.

Over the coming months we will be embedding these approaches by supporting the development of Integrated Neighbourhood Teams (INTs) and remote/flexible employment models building capacity within primary care

A huge amount of guidance material has been produced to support the primary care Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) workforce with this transition, but sometimes the challenge is finding what you need across the multiple sources available. This website aims to make that easier by bringing together materials in one place to support practices and save time; all the links have approved content from the listed organisations and regular review and updates will be provided.

Building partnerships and learning to work in collaboration at scale reduces the risks to practices working at capacity, supporting them to better respond to the workload pressures that are widely recognised in general practice. To support and increase practice access to be able to deliver services at scale, the Innovation Programme recently published a blueprint document and other learning resources based on a regional pilot project to boost appointment capacity through federated delivery of services using sustainable funding streams. In doing this, the Folkestone, Hythe and Rural PCN created a new hub operating model which has added 2,500 Appointments per month to its seven practices. The innovative scheme and technical solution enabled PCN staff to access patient records via a single log-on, alongside financial data, workforce structure, clinical and data governance arrangements and will help others looking to work in this way no matter their delivery model and scale of services. Please watch an introductory video here and a podcast recently produced here.

Alongside these resources, we recommend teams register for access to the National Primary Hub space NHS Futures site and South East Region Primary Care Transformation site, which continue to share up to date advice and guidance and offer the opportunity to share challenges and best practice with colleagues on their members forum. You can request free access via the link here

If you have any feedback on how this platform can be improved, we’d love to hear any suggestions and would welcome sharing of any good practice taking place in your area. The team can be reached at

Next page – Modern General Practice Overview