North West London’s Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund Programme

North West London’s Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund Programme
posted 15 September 2014

This programme aims to improve patient access to general practice through the formation of GP networks. North West London is one of 20 pilot sites and has been awarded £5 million by NHS England for this one year programme, which has been match funded by the CCGs and Health Education North West London (HE NWL). 

The scale of ambition is great, with all eight CCGs and approximately 390 (97%) practices participating across the patch. The aim is to improve access for 1.8 million residents over eight London Boroughs.

The main focus of the programme is organisational development to support sustainable transformational change. This means that front-line staff and patients will be empowered to lead change and that improvements will continue in the future. The goal is a step-change in GP’s capability and capacity with improvements in infrastructure, process and networks.

The outcomes fall into three categories: 

  • Urgent care;
  • Convenient care; and
  • Continuity of care.

North West London has already committed to a number of the outcomes through their other programmes of work and this supports their delivery. The programme is run using a gateway process, where funding is released when key requirements are met. CCGs are leading the programme to assure the plans for their local networks, with central support from the central NW London Strategy & Transformation Team.

My main role in the programme is to lead the workforce development, one of the key enablers for sustainable transformational change. I work closely with colleagues at HE NWL and within the Strategy & Transformation Team to ensure alignment with other programmes of work. This has included securing additional funding for primary care workforce development from HE NWL and leading on its allocation and the process for release. 

Each of the emerging networks have nominated an education lead responsible for multi-professional workforce development and we recently held a workshop to design this role, maximise the opportunity presented by the funding and inform primary care workforce planning. One of the most exciting opportunities which is being developed in alignment with this programme is Community Learning Networks, which will provide the infrastructure for the delivery of multi-professional training and education in an out of hospital setting. They are being scoped at present and, while network working supports their development, they need to be integrated across the whole system.

Dr Natalie Oswald, Senior Consultant, Integrating Care