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Reading Primary Care Alliance (RPCA) identifies the development and delivery of an effective strategy of critical importance for the ongoing success of the organisation, especially when the NHS system is undergoing such significant challenges in terms of demand and austerity.
As a new and developing organisation, the initial focus of the RPCA is targeted at developing board effectiveness, including:
- Building capacity and capability
- Enabling corporate accountability and good processes
- Embedding board disciplines
- Exercising judgment
- Maturing relationships
- Delegating appropriately
In parallel to this work lies the key role for RPCA in developing and expanding the current General Practice/Primary Care model, including the development of new infrastructure and workforce capacity through a supported evolutionary process.
This includes developing in each of the following areas:
- Protecting and growing practice income streams – by bidding for services and/or being subcontracted by other local providers. * The ability to deal more easily on behalf of the Practices through one organisation, particularly when it comes to contracting.
- Direct contracting between the Alliance and CCG, reducing transaction costs and putting money back into patient care.
- Supporting member practices in providing high quality services for all patients, reducing unwarranted and unexplained variation.
* RPCA can partner through the Integrated Care system with the local hospital trust, community services, mental health providers, and other GP providers, to deliver services to bring new income into member practices, working towards delivering prime, principle or alliance contracts.
- Providing a platform for innovation and transformational change, by improving local services and providing a vehicle to work with the Integrated Care System, with increased collaboration.
- RPCA will also provide a route to strengthen clinical governance, quality and safety, by adopting one high quality standard approach, delivered consistently by having all providers working to agreed standards and thresholds.
- Providing a platform to deliver significant economies of scale and efficiency savings; using size as strength to reduce expenses and avoid duplication.
- The growth will be organic and additional Directors and Management members will be attracted as part of this growth. The organisation is there to support practices to survive and grow, this ensures that these positions will be attractive to members in the future.
Working at scale across the local population is a critical step for Practices, who will be required to work together and support each other in order to avoid service fragmentation, while ensuring better continuity of care. A strategic aim for RPCA is rethinking the service delivery model for Primary Care.
This is a prerequisite for success as a Company, as without that shift in the way General Practice, and wider Primary Care works, RPCA could quickly become nothing more than another level of bureaucracy, administering duplicated services across the membership. Part of this therefore requires RPCA to quickly become a partner with NHS South Reading CCG to develop and implement a new strategy for Primary Care.