Happy National Workforce Month!

Posted by: bethanyhollis - Posted on:


September 2022 sees not only National Workforce Month but also my 2 year anniversary at Primary Care Doncaster Limited! 

If you were to ask anyone around me what my role has been at PCD they would probably talk most about the line management of staff, because it swiftly became by far the biggest part!  In September 2020 I joined and was line managing a small team of 5 Clinical Pharmacists for four of Doncaster’s Primary Care Networks (PCNs), but over the last two years this has grown and I have had a total of 86 different people in the team!  I joined PCD having previously worked in a GP practice and before that in the education system.  The skills, knowledge and experience I gained in those roles have been certainly put to use!  For this multi disciplinary team of professionals I have acted as their corporate line manager, supporting them in their roles in the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in a variety of ways. 

I can’t write a blog on workforce without mentioning something very current and very real: the Primary Care workforce crisis. Like many in my industry it’s hard for me to know what the answer to this is, but one initiative has been the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), through which all of the team I have mentioned above have been employed.  The scheme provides funding to recruit staff from a variety of disciplines and was designed to bring, like it says on the tin, additional roles into primary care through the PCNs.  This has had its challenges including recruitment, retention, training and integration.  It’s been a journey so far and all of us involved are still learning.  Many of the roles are ones we had no experience of working with such as: Physician Associates, Care Coordinators, Dieticians and Podiatrists.  Some of the conversations haven’t been easy, and the ARRS certainly isn’t the answer to the workforce crisis, but overall I feel proud to have been a part of it and supporting people and PCNs in the journey of bringing a whole new workforce into Primary Care.

In addition to the above I also represent PCD, and therefore our member practices, on a variety of cells, groups and committees across the health system.  This includes role specific groups such as employers’ forums for PAs and TNAs, local cross sector groups such as a workforce cell that is attended by a range of public sector employers, and regional groups such as the South Yorkshire Primary Care Workforce Group.  This has given me the opportunity be part of projects such as a collaboration to ensure that vaccinators from across the region could safely and easily join the effort to vaccinate the nation, regardless of who their employer is.  I am also part of a working group that is looking to develop Doncaster’s mission to be a Centre of Excellence for Health in terms of education. 

Every day is different in my role at PCD and that’s one of the best things about it!  I am privileged to work with a wide range of people including my own team, my colleagues in the corporate team, the leaders and managers of the PCNs, the local practices, and many other colleagues in the sector at a local, regional and national level!

Kristen Rawson, Senior Workforce Development Officer