Report by Natalie Jones, Clinical Academic Occupational Therapist.
The Fuller report (NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2022) suggests two cultural shifts are required to meet increasing challenges in primary care.
- Move towards a psychosocial model of care
- Realignment of the health and care system to a population-based approach.
Allied health professionals uniquely contribute to tackling health inequalities (Dougall & Buck, 2021) and delivering psychosocial interventions. AHPs often work across several organisational boundaries, are well placed to see cross-system pathways and flows, and work on seamless integration. There is a perception that tackling health inequalities is for people working at scale; however, there is an important role that allied health profession-als can play in individual consultations. Influencing locally on the design and delivery of services within networks, connecting a pa-tient to services to meet their needs and advocating for their needs with another professionals.
Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) enables the re-cruitment of new additional staff to deliver health services (NHS England, 2021). Bringing an additional 26,000 staff into general practice by 2024. roles. PCNs can choose from 13 roles. Five of these roles are practitioners known as allied health professionals (AHPs). This new workforce has yet to reach its full potential, and further development work is required to support the transition into a new model of team-based working in primary care.
Opportunities for impact are significant. There are lots of good examples. We need to create space for this learning to be shared and celebrated.
Create a sense of belonging, have a defined purpose, value my contribution, empower me to influence, help me work as a team. Help me grow as a leader.
Things that are important
- Preceptorship & connection
- Clinical & professional leadership
- Peer support
- Communities of practice
- Outcome measurement
Unlocking the potential
- Use population health data to inform workforce development.
- Build knowledge on how to develop ARRS roles.
- Invest in organisational development to optimise ARRS roles.
- Plan for the future ARRS workforce.
Video: Scoping the role of OT in PCNs
Occupational Therapy students from Hallam University were on placement in two Primary Care Networks for eight weeks to scope the role of Occupational Therapy for the Network. The students collected population data, used questionnaires and consulted with patients and the primary care team to explore the views of how an Occupational Therapist would complement and enhance current services. The students presented their findings and provided two business plans. They proposed several roles with a clinical focus on mental health, frailty and dementia and a specialist neurodiversity role. To hear more about their findings please watch the 30-minute video.