The sixth annual Primary Care Improvers Conference took place in March 2022 to share best practice across the Primary Care Improvement Community and provide a dedicated space for networking and learning.
With experience of working as part of the Primary Care Improvement Faculty, Arden & GEM’s Healthcare Solutions team supported the design and delivery of the virtual conference to help ensure content was professionally facilitated and of value to attendees from across the full primary care spectrum.
Over 200 people attended the event which successfully enabled delegates to increase their networks, learning and confidence in using new tools and innovative ways of working.
The national Primary Care Improvement Community (PCIC) is a virtual community, run by the Time for Care programme team, for everyone working in and around general practice and primary care in England. Its 10,000 members are supported to share best practice, accelerate local change and sustain progress through innovation, improvement and transformation.
When the Time for Care programme team needed support to organise the sixth annual Primary Care Improvers Conference, in March 2022, they sought input from existing member of the Primary Care Improvement Faculty working for Arden & GEM’s Healthcare Solutions team.
With five years’ experience of supporting the Time for Care programme as improvement facilitators, as well as a track record of working with Primary Care Network (PCN) development programmes across a number of ICSs and leading cross-sector evaluations, the Healthcare Solutions team was well placed to offer both guidance and practical support to the conference.
The Time for Care programme team invited the Arden & GEM improvement facilitator to join a dedicated conference design and delivery group – along with clinical leaders, practice managers and OD professionals – to put together a virtual event that would appeal and be of benefit to attendees from across the full spectrum of primary care.
Bringing a multidisciplinary perspective
With a background in occupational therapy and experience of operating as part of a multidisciplinary team within primary care, Arden & GEM’s improvement facilitator was able to bring a fresh perspective to the group which helped shape the conference title and focus, ‘Me, My Team, My Community – Realising our Potential’.
This contribution also included designing sessions and sourcing speakers to facilitate learning in and inspire improved use of physiotherapy, pharmacy, occupational therapy, social prescribing and group clinics.
These sessions were particularly relevant and valuable given the implementation of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) within primary care over the last three years.
Bringing a structured approach
Giving all contributors a clear brief is crucial to any event but especially for virtual events. The team developed a comprehensive briefing pack for speakers, hosts, leads and reporters to ensure everyone knew what was expected of them on the day. This clear communication of roles helped the event to run smoothly, and the support was well received by speakers, many of whom were giving up their time within a pressured schedule.
Previous conferences hadn’t been formally evaluated, which was identified as a missed opportunity for learning for the design and delivery group. With experience of undertaking a range of evaluations – from single events to national programmes – the CSU team enabled the design of a systematic method, including interviewing delegates, to evaluate the conference and understand how well it achieved its goals.
The Primary Care Improvers Conference was successfully delivered with 205 people in attendance. Three plenary sessions and 22 breakout sessions, involving 45 speakers, were facilitated covering three key themes:
- Quality improvement tools
- Different roles within general practice
- Personal and team wellbeing.
Professions represented included GPs, managers, social prescribers, nurses, care coordinators and paramedics, as well as patient representatives. Post-event evaluation activity, carried out by the Time for Care team, found that the conference enabled attendees to:
- Make meaningful new professional connections
- Gain specific learning or tools
- Increase confidence in using tools and approaches.
“General practice is all doom and gloom. The PCIC conference was refreshing and made ideas seem possible.”
The evaluation also helped to identify key themes and topics for future events which were included in a final event and evaluation report.
The conference design and delivery group described Arden & GEM’s contribution as methodical, detailed, knowledgeable and thoughtful, with tasks completed to time and with great care.