The six-month programme, which will be overseen by a leading nurse, is open to all clinicians appointed to the new role of Primary Care Network Director.
“The programme will have an emphasis on leading teams across systems in a collaborative way”
Primary care networks, made up of neighbouring GP practices, are a key plank of the NHS Long Term Plan in England and at the heart of efforts to ensure more integrated community healthcare.
They will serve populations of between 30,000 and 50,000 and provide an enhanced range of services with multi-professional teams including doctors, district nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, community geriatricians and dementia workers working alongside social services and the voluntary sector.
The 2019 GP contract required practices to join networks, which must appoint an accountable clinical director who does not have to be a GP.
“Primary care network clinical directors will provide strategic and clinical leadership to help support change across primary and community health services,” the contract stated.
The QNI confirmed its course was open to all clinicians appointed to the emerging role and anticipated the first group of around 18 participants would be “from a variety of clinical backgrounds” including practice nurses and GPs.
The course, which costs £5,300 per person, is made up of 14 residential and study days in total delivered over a six-month period.
According to the course programme, it will “focus on leading in primary care networks and developing relationships with all stakeholders associated with transformational change”.
“The programme will have an emphasis on leading teams across systems in a collaborative way which includes courageous conversations, influencing skills and decision making,” said the document.
It will include group work, coaching, mentoring, talks by expert speakers and visits to practice settings.
As part of the course, participants will also be expected to devise and implement a “quality improvement” designed to improve care and services for patients in their area.
“We view the PCN clinical director role as an ideal opportunity for nurses and GPs to be able to shape primary care services”
The programme is being led by Queen’s Nurse Sharon Aldridge-Bent, who developed and runs the Aspiring Queen’s Nurses Leadership Programme.
She has also worked on the QNI’s Executive Nurse Leadership Programme as part of the faculty for the Leadership Trust, helping develop directors and assistant directors of nursing.
The QNI said the Primary Care Network Clinical Director Leadership programme built on other successful leadership schemes it had delivered in recent years.
The charity said it had consulted widely during the development process including with the Primary Care Directorate at NHS England.
“As an organisation the QNI is focused on leadership, encouraging practitioners to influence strategically the way in which patients are cared for in the community,” said the QNI.
“We view the PCN clinical director role as an ideal opportunity for nurses and GPs to be able to shape primary care services, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.”
Applications must be received by 1 September with interviews for those short-listed due to take place later that month.