The Primary Care Careers Journey, April 2021 to today.

In April 2021 Primary Care Careers (PCC) launched with ambitions of creating one recruitment solution for hiring managers in primary care and making primary care a career destination for the current and potential workforce. Head of Primary Care Careers, Sarah Isaacs looks back on the journey so far.

We produced our latest performance reports in June 2023, they showed that PCC are supporting 64% of the GP practices and 73% of the primary care networks (PCNs) across the five Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) we partner with in the east of England.  We’re an ambitious and engaged team and we’re proud that these outcomes have exceeded even our expectations.

The recent release of the delivery plan for recovering access to primary care and the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan have reinforced that the model we launched in April 2021 was ahead of the curve in its thinking, incorporating attraction, recruitment and retention.  The PCC team are delighted that we’ve been able to provide this level of support so successfully and we’re looking forward to continuing to do so.

With this success under our belts, it feels like a good time to reflect on the journey of PCC.  When I first joined the NHS I wanted to add value and create an impact.  I saw the potential to do this with recruitment across primary care, collaborating at a larger scale than had ever been considered before.  At that time, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were encouraging PCNs to recruit using the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS).  The thought that struck me was ‘why don’t we create one recruitment solution for primary care? We could pull all the individual funding pots together to build a sustainable and professional entity with recognised branding and social media presence that can be used across numerous job boards and platforms’. I can remember pitching the proposal to the PCC Strategy Group and the feedback was, ‘it’s very ambitious!’.  I sensed they liked the concept but thought it may not be achievable.  The challenge had been set! 

Within two years the PCC team had grown to include HR, recruitment, system, and social media expertise.  We launched a new website, improved our applicant tracking system for a better hiring manager and candidate experience and expanded across the east of England. We have built relationships with numerous stakeholders such as Local Medical Committees (LMCs), ICBs, training hubs, PCNs and practices. The team has also developed a strong branding for PCC and increased our social media presence. We are now advertising circa 350 roles at any one time!

Another outcome for the PCC team has been the building of knowledge about how primary care works.  Having a full understanding of this environment has only increased the team’s passion and engagement to support our colleagues across primary care. We strive to find the right people, with the right skills, for the right roles, at the right time. 

I’m conscious that in the fast-paced world we all work in, we don’t often take the time to reflect and celebrate success.  The launch and success of Primary Care Careers is certainly an achievement to celebrate. 

Thank you to the amazing team that has made this happen: Sarah Boxall, Mark Hewitt, Sophie Jackson and Fiona Moxey.              

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1st August 2023
careers, PCC, primary care, recruitment