Primary care flexible staff pools: what to look for in a supplier
New funding has been made available to support the creation of flexible staff pools that engage and deploy local GPs flexibly to support local primary care, including PCN extended access services.
Every ICS is entitled to £120k, but that budget has to be allocated by the end of March 2021.
It’s a welcome recognition of the importance of digital staffing solutions. After all, with digital solutions powering staffing and delivering care, primary care can:
- Boost staff retention, with a choice of flexible working options that make primary care a great place to build and continue a career
- Match the supply of staff and the demand for their expertise in the most efficient way possible
- Operate at its best - saving time and money, and gaining valuable insight and visibility of the workforce
Lantum is the largest and most established provider of these flexible staff pools in the country; over 262 PCNs across England benefit from a Lantum staff pool.
These pools don’t just help the day-today operations of a PCN; by connecting staffing and scheduling at a borough-wide level, PCNs can lay the foundation for maturing to ICSs more quickly, and with fewer admin headaches.
To help you make the most of this new funding, we’ve put together 8 quick pointers on what you should be looking for from a supplier.
1) Do you just get a staff bank, or do you get connected rostering too?
It’s useful to pool your staff in one place, but the real time and cost savings come when that pool is cleanly integrated with your services’ scheduling tools, via connected rostering. On the Lantum platform, managers can draw staff directly into their rota from their staff pool, and any changes are immediately communicated to the staff member.
2) Can your provider help connect you with a wider network of staff?
With your staff pool, you should be able to fill your shift requirements the vast majority of the time. But there may be times when you need to fill emergency gaps or are simply short-staffed during a period of high demand. You can use Lantum’s wider network of staff to find available workforce outside of your pool, at a fraction of the cost of an agency.
3) Will your provider help you cut time spent managing locum clinicians and paperwork?
Working with staff in a pool may mean you end up working with a large number of locum clinicians - and incurring the paperwork that goes with that. Lantum automates pension, payment and booking admin, so working with locums is as easy as working with salaried staff. And with our next-day payment service, Rocketpay, you can keep clinicians happy.
“Excellent platform to find work, easy to navigate. Payment is made promptly via Rocketpay which is another great advantage of booking shifts on Lantum.” Comment from a GP in Lantum NPS survey, 2020
4) Does your provider help you manage a wide variety of staff - salaried, locum, clinical and non-clinical?
If you can’t use one system for all of the staff you manage, it will become more burdensome than useful - just ‘one more thing’. Lantum allows you to manage staff of all different types, all from the same dashboard.
5) Can your provider help you get set up quickly?
If it takes a long time between signing on the dotted line and actually seeing results, that tells you that your provider may be inexperienced or not focused on delivering success for you. But Lantum’s established footprint, twinned with the Marketplace to connect you to local staff, means you can get going fast.
Northampton GP Alliance were able to spin up and start booking for a whole new Extended Access service using Lantum - just 14 days after they themselves were awarded the service contract. Plus, around 1 in 3 practices in England already have a Lantum account - giving you another headstart when it comes to implementation.
6) Does your provider have the capacity to give you a smooth, predictable launch?
Getting up and running is one thing, but ideally, your provider should be able to make your launch as stress-free as possible. That’s why Lantum has a dedicated operations team of over 30 people, plus a tried-and-tested phased launch methodology, so you know what to expect every step of the way.
7) Can your provider prove they can implement at system level?
Some providers may be able to provide staff pools at a network level, but sharing staff and rostering at a system level involves a huge deal of complexity. Your chosen provider should be able to handle that complexity - and fast.
In Lantum's work with Greater Manchester, 9 in 10 practices were fully set up with the system-wide workforce bank and their own rostering system within 6 months - read more about that in this quick infographic, or watch this short video about Lantum’s partnership with Our Dorset Health and Social Care Partnership.
8) Can your provider help lift the compliance burden for sharing staff?
Working with staff between organisations means you need to have a clear way of tracking workforce credentials, effectively creating a clinical passport for staff working across your services.
“We also use the My Staff tab within Lantum. That's great because that takes care of the governance aspect of our service: making sure the GPs and our nurses are governance-compliant, and making sure that all their documents are relevant and up-to-date.” Joshua Cobbson, Extended Access Manager, Haringey Federated 4 Health
Want to learn more about the funding and how Lantum fits in? Book a no-obligation call - just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.