Support and development for hundreds of PCN colleagues


Programmes designed to help those working in general practice are making an impact.

Greater Manchester Primary Care Provider Board has worked with partners to fund and deliver support and training to hundreds of colleagues working in Primary Care Networks throughout 2023/24.

Two major programmes have come to an end recently, and participants have received targeted and developmental support that will benefit them as individuals as well as their PCN.

The combined ‘graduates’ of the senior PCN Leadership Programme (Progressing PCNs) and Proactive Care Programme join the hundreds of colleagues who have taken up the opportunity of support over the past year.

Progressing PCNs was a six month programme dedicated to supporting clinical directors and PCN managers in developing both individual and collective leadership skills.

The programme was a mixture of online and face-to-face workshops and specific tools were used to help participants improve skills such as conflict resolution, leadership confidence, self-awareness and collaboration.

The course enabled them to develop critical thinking skills about leadership and prepared them for the future by looking at the psychology of change and collaboration. It also supported them to develop a connected and active PCN leadership community across all GM localities.

In total, 52 colleagues across 24 PCNs took part in programme which was delivered in partnership with the NHS Confederation, and feedback has been very positive.

Participants felt the programme was a valuable opportunity for networking, leadership development and personal growth, and that their enhanced leadership skills and management approaches would have a positive impact on their teams and the broader PCN.

One PCN manager said: “It has helped me to gain confidence in my leadership and management style; it has given me techniques to help with difficult conversations and managing different opinions.”

Another said: “The course was pacey, innovative, solution focused.”

The Proactive Care Programme, delivered in conjunction with Peak Health Coaching and the national CLEAR programme, focussed on helping PCNs develop specific proactive care approaches, underpinned by personalised care, for three cohorts: frailty; dementia and high intensity service users.

Also delivered over a six month period, a total of 16 PCNs completed the programme, taking part in structured workshops, networking sessions, a learning network and PCN participation.

Participants said they valued networking and the peer-to-peer sharing of ideas and solutions.

They appreciated the protected time and funding to enable them to dedicate to the initiative.

One said: “The workshops were really helpful; being able to come together in a room and share ideas and concerns and thoughts with people doing similar work.”

Another said: “We are already beginning to think about the metrics that will be easy and straightforward to measure, that we can compare before and after the programme.”

All participating PCNs have since designed proactive care approaches for their selected cohort and some have started to implement them.

In designing their approaches, they have identified specific patient groups using data analysis, changed operating protocols from reactive to proactive using a quality improvement methodology, and made the best use of their many Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) workforce – such as health coaches, social prescribers, care coordinators, clinical pharmacists and paramedics – using workforce utilisation and planning tools.

Other developmental opportunities provided by the PCB include the PCN Development Programme and various webinars organised by GP Excellence.

More than 300 people from general practice attended the PCN Development Programme over three sessions held in person at The Studio in Manchester.

Each session delivered a series of workshops designed in response to the needs expressed by PCN managers, clinical directors, practice managers, ARRS colleagues, LMCs and federations.

Content was in line with the Greater Manchester Primary Care Blueprint, the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) Strategy and the national Fuller Stocktake Report.

The PCB’s GP Excellence programme has supported more than 400 colleagues via webinars on topics including financial health checks (with the Royal College of General Practitioners), succession planning (with the RCGP), complaints training, whistle stop tour of primary care finance (with Primary Care Contracting PCC), year-end planning and preparation and creating a business plan.

They have also developed a pilot workshop to help practices and PCNs to resolve conflict, which has been well-received and is currently being offered over the next few months.

In addition, they provide individual mentoring and coaching as well as Quality Improvement training.

Please get in touch if you’re a PCN clinical director or PCN manager interested in our leadership offer ( or proactive care offer ( for 2024/25.

For GP Excellence offers, please contact