Deploying staff across sites according to need

IntraHealth is a limited company and at scale provider of NHS primary care and community services, operating 10 practices and five community pharmacies in the north east of England and providing community care across the Midlands and north of England. It serves a patient population of 54,000.

Staffing shortages across the wider healthcare system have impacted service provision and workforce morale.

IntraHealth has maximised the benefits of having clinicians working across its various sites, particularly for smaller practices. It sought to upskill and support greater resilience in its workforce, and has achieved this through a variety of methods:

Sharing learning

For example, a larger practice develops a medication protocol then teaches smaller practices how to adopt it successfully. IntraHealth also encourages clinicians with specific interests to develop bespoke training, such as a module on interpreting blood test results, which can then be shared with other practices and the wider organisation.

Sharing staff across smaller sites

This means that support is available for individual practices struggling to deliver training and development. This provision of support has been well-received by staff and creates opportunities for sharing skills, which helps to embed a learning culture across practices. It enables teams and individuals to solve problems in new environments and aids their personal development.

Sharing staff between clinical services and primary care teams

IntraHealth has a clinical services division and a primary care division and often uses staff from one to support the other. This helps with staffing shortages at key points during the year. During the pandemic, the clinical services team took over Covid 19 vaccinations for IntraHealth practices, releasing pressure from primary care staff at a critical time.

By taking advantage of how at scale working can support system goals alongside day-to-day primary care activity, Intrahealth has maximised both their GP workforce's capacity and ensured patients can be seen by those best placed to support them.