For PCNs, ARRS funding has been a mixed blessing. How can they make the most of this opportunity to expand the general practice workforce in the face of rising patient demand? Luckily, help is at hand…
The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) has received a mixed reception by GPs and the PCN community.
ARRS seeks to help manage patient demand by providing practices with additional healthcare specialists, helping them deliver the right care where needed.
Questions abound over its suitability. Are the roles the right to meet immediate needs? How are those needs being identified to meet funding criteria? Once the posts are in place, how will those roles be managed? Where is the space for them to work?
We noted that ARRS was proving a pain in late 2020 when we asked what should be on the GP Christmas wish list. ARRS was not a welcome gift to some.
However, to overcome the hurdles (and reap the benefits of ARRS), there is a service PCNs can utilise to their advantage: Klinik.
Klinik is an online triage and patient flow management platform that helps GP staff assess patients and direct them towards appropriate care.
The technology helps PCNs to better understand which schemes are suitable for which communities and provides real-world evidence of need.
The technology logs condition types and the care needed on a real-time data dashboard, aggregating data from multiple sites. This is helping groups of GPs set out workforce plans that identify which additional roles would help serve their local population.
Haxby Group’s Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell told fellow GPs that data produced by Klinik on case timings and condition types is allowing the GP group “to map our workforce to meet demand on an hour-by-hour basis.
“Having the condition types has allowed us to be much more nuanced in our workforce planning, and to recognise the sorts of workforce that we need for each individual population around each of our sites. We can now customise the sort of care that we're able to deliver.”
This could provide the basis for an intelligent healthcare network, a vital step for a future NHS that is built on place-based care and population health management.
Klinik’s patient flow management tools help best manage the use of additional roles and existing GP surgery staff.
Using Klinik, practices and networks can create configurable ‘units’ that can process certain cases, whether a patient contacts a practice by phone or online. These units can be formed from the resources of a surgery, a federation or the wider local area.
This means patients can be efficiently directed to one of the new additional roles that PCNs have facilitated, or to another more suitable place of care. This removes bottlenecks that use up clinical time and introduce delays to the patient journey.
Klinik also provides the foundation for a more flexible, increasingly mobile workforce. It can act as a central triage hub, covering multiple regions. Healthcare providers can deliver efficient and effective triage and direct patients to the right point of care, wherever and whenever needed. Pressures on the estate can be better managed as a result.
Digitising triage and introducing more efficient patient flow with Klinik can pave the way to healthcare that is better able to respond to ever-changing needs in our communities.
Helping to solve the challenges of ARRS is only one advantage of the technology. As our UK lead Ben Wood has noted: To be truly transformative, the digital front door to general practice needs to be the digital front door to the wider healthcare system.
With Klinik in place, PCNs have the platform to help them manage demand, optimise the workforce and deliver the care that is right for their local populations.
Contact us to see how hundreds of GPs across the UK, Ireland and Europe are using Klinik to transform how they deliver care.