First Contact Practitioners Explained: How to Manage FCPs in Primary Care
The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) was launched in 2019, offering a way for Primary Care Networks to help alleviate some of the growing pressures on GPs and practices through the provision of First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) – taking on roles including; paramedics, first contact physiotherapists, dieticians, podiatrists, and occupational therapists.
But for practices, getting to grips with understanding the best way to manage these new roles whilst ensuring they are fully complaint and following the Roadmap for Practice can be a real administrative burden on PCNs and practice managers.
That’s why we’re here to help simplify the process and explain how regulations for FCPs work.
Who is Responsible for FCPs’ Compliance and Eligibility to Work?
Whilst it’s down to the individual to manage their own learning and gathering of regulatory evidence, when an FCP is employed by a PCN, it is their responsibility to provide the right support to the practitioners so they can showcase their evidence for their capability to work. However according to CQC regulations, a GP Practice will be accountable for the FCPs they have working there, as they are delivering regulated activity on their behalf.
What are the Regulatory Requirements PCNs and GP Practices need to be aware of?
With different clinicians and practitioners working out of GP practices, each will have their own regulatory requirements to adhere to – for GPs, this means that extra care needs to be taken to ensure anyone that is working on behalf of their practice is fit to work for them and is supervised.
For FCPs, they need to be demonstrating they are following Health Education England’s Roadmap to Practice – specifically, that any FCP providing care in a practice, has completed Stage 1, and is providing evidence they are working towards completing Stage 2, usually within six months.
When initially employing an FCP into a practice, managers should seek assurances from the FCP’s employer (eg.a PCN) that this is in place. When carrying out a practice inspection, the CQC will need evidence or assurance that FCP staff working out of the practice will have completed stage 1 of the roadmap and have arrangements for completion of stage 2.
Providers also need to ensure that their staff are operating within the limits of their competency, as well allocating an appropriate senior member of the primary care team to provide day-to-day supervision of clinical staff.
What is the Best Way to Manage Your FCP Staff Regulation?
With all this in mind, ensuring your practice manages your FCP staff correctly and they are managing their own training according to the HEE roadmap can feel like too many spinning plates – that’s why we developed our own, one of a kind, FCP solution.
Clarity FCPs was developed in partnership with Primary Care Integrated Services to offer a personalised, simple, web-based solution for FCP staff to manage their learning portfolio whenever they want, wherever they want.
The software is the first of its kind for FCP employees, allowing them to track their progress in real time against the HEE roadmap requirements specific to their role, easily manage their annual appraisals beyond the roadmap, as well as integration with TeamNet so they can find the necessary learning resources to help fill their portfolio.
Clarity FCPs doesn’t only benefit practitioners, it also allows Primary Care Networks and GP Practices to manage their staff in a way that works for them – utilising custom dashboards to allow you to grade KSA frameworks, conduct reviews and verify and sign off evidence by clinical supervisors for stage 1 and stage 2 of the roadmap. The built-in annual appraisal functionality also provides an easy way for PCNs to carry out their obligation to continually appraise their Additional Roles beyond Stage 2 of the roadmap. This means that practices are always prepared for inspection and your staff can focus on providing impactful care for their patients.