Sunderland Case Study
Sunderland GP Alliance, a federation made up of six primary care networks, with a population size of 250,000 across 36 practices.
The federation had an ambition of recruiting and mobilising 50 pharmacists from a current team of six within a 6-month period. They recognised that it was not only important but essential to assure that there was a safe and standardised deployment when the pharmacists were coming from a range of different backgrounds and levels of experience.
If this was not done in a systematic and standardised way, it would lead to variation in quality of delivery of service across the federation, impacting patient care.
To safely grow, develop and train the pharmacy workforce and measure the impact over the contract
Within 18 months of starting the process Sunderland Alliance federation developed and retained a strong and confident pharmacy team. This was seen by the:
North London Productivity Case Study
Practice based in North London (11,000 list size) faced similar problems to many -workforce crisis, with the lack of GPs and nurses, and an increase in workload due to the growing demands of the population. The practice was overwhelmed with the prescription workload and decided to take on and eventually increase the pharmacist capacity within the practice to manage this. The practice went from 0.8 WTE to 2 (made up of three pharmacists) and although the process was refined, and the pharmacists led on the prescription process the workload was still unmanageable. The GPs recognised there was a mix of capability and competence between the pharmacists, and a lack of capacity from themselves to provide adequate support to train and upskill the pharmacists. There was also a sense of the pharmacists taking too long – ‘GPs used to do this much faster’ creating anxiety and dissatisfaction within the team. The practice commissioned Soar Beyond to provide them with support and structure through the SMART platform and additional supervision support through a senior Soar Beyond pharmacist.
“Soar Beyond has co-ordinated a proactive approach to support our practice to implement a pharmacist led programme, to develop a systematised repeat prescribing process including a proactive medication review & QOF process which has significantly reduced the entire practice prescription workload by 50% not only for the pharmacists but also our practice admin. team. We are now able to recommend and replicate a process across the PCN”
Meena Thakur, Clinical Lead, East Harrow PCN
Oxfordshire Productivity Case Study
Three practices in Didcot joined to form Didcot Primary Care Network with a patient population of over 43,000. Despite the practices being local to each other, each practice had different population needs. Although they had good informal relationships, they had no previous experience of working together in an organised way.
The practices all had:
None of the practices had any previous experience of working with a pharmacist other than CCG practice-based pharmacists
There were concerns that the PCN’s lack of experience and knowledge of background, skills, and training of a clinical pharmacist could lead to common pitfalls they were hearing from other PCNs and they didn’t want to recruit the wrong candidate for their PCN needs.
The PCN needed to recruit and employ an effective pharmacist who could hit the ground running and start prescribing, running medication reviews, and delivering the income generation and clinical requirements of the directed enhanced service in an equitable way across the three practices. PCN staff sought external expertise from Soar Beyond, to accelerate the process and guide them.
Soar Beyond ran a facilitated diagnostic session in July 2019 with participation across the three practices. This session helped staff to:
The PCN therefore sought a more senior pharmacist with an existing independent prescriber qualification and relevant experience to support and drive the PCN agenda, even though this would require additional ‘top-up funding’ by the practices. Staff outsourced the recruitment and support to Soar Beyond to ensure they would find the right candidate.
Soar Beyond supported the practice by:
After a thorough screening and interview process, a suitably experienced candidate was interviewed in September 2019 with an offer made to start work in January 2020. The delay in start date was due to a lengthy notice period, which is typical for skilled professionals—something that should be considered when beginning recruitment.
The benefits for the PCN, practices, and pharmacist included:
The PCN has commissioned additional senior pharmacist support from Soar Beyond to provide regular coaching calls to ensure development and progress is kept on track through KPI reporting and deployment of milestones.
Although the whole process took 6 months, this was accelerated using external support and expertise, and prevented Didcot PCN encountering common pitfalls experienced by other PCNs, such as taking on inadequately experienced pharmacists or those that require significant support and supervision.
‘Working through the recruitment and induction process with the support of Soar Beyond has been strategically invaluable in terms of aligning my vision and values with those of the PCN Clinical Director and member practices. In my experience so far, this very alignment is crucial in effectively delivering the PCN Pharmacist role at scale.’
Ziad A Laklouk; PCN Pharmacist, Didcot PCN
South East Oxford PCN Pharmacy Team Strategy
“We requested a consultation and demo from Soar Beyond and we immediately saw how they could help. Through their support I could see we could bring the PCN together to have a shared vision of what the pharmacy team could deliver to improve workload and capacity for the clinical team but to also improve standards and patient care.
We initially commissioned them to support with recruitment and the 4D Strategy Workshops but subsequently also took on the SMART platform to enable and empower our senior pharmacist to take a lead on service delivery. With KPI monitoring and development planning modules it would support the pharmacists regardless of previous background and training ensuring a standardised approached to delivery.
We have so far successfully recruited one pharmacist and Soar Beyond are working hard to fill the other two roles to meet this years target. We are in the early days of using the platform but the initial strategy session has provided focus and we are looking forward to the second in the series.”
Dr Kathryn Brown
GP and PCN Clinical Director, South East Oxford Health Alliance PCN