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New guidance to help practices with multidisciplinary teams

by Julie Griffiths
2 June 2023

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NHS England has launched two pieces of guidance to help GP practices and PCNs improve their management of their growing multidisciplinary teams.

One is an induction checklist template for primary care organisations to use as new frontline staff join their teams.  And the second is guidance on how practices and PCNs can provide effective supervision in multidisciplinary teams.

Both documents, which were released last month, aim to help employers and practices as they hire team members into roles that are new to general practice, such as GP assistants, social prescribing link workers, health and wellbeing coaches, podiatrists and occupational therapists.

The example induction checklist, which is optional and can be tailored as required, provides a comprehensive set of steps that will ensure employers give the right support to new staff, enabling them to ‘integrate and gain confidence in their new roles’.

This includes:

  • Providing practical details about the practice, such as opening hours and extended access arrangements, parking facilities and location of rest areas.
  • Arranging for staff introductions to clinical directors, practice and PCN teams and other networks or groups within the PCN.
  • Ensuring the new person has contact details for relevant team members.
  • An induction on IT and communication systems.
  • Explanation about practice policies and procedures in various areas such as home visits, lone working, triaging, complaints, sickness and absence and on reporting adverse events. New starters should also be shown the procedure for booking with GP and other healthcare professionals in the team for emergency and routine follow-ups.
  • Safeguarding training and explanation about policy and procedure.
  • An introduction to the individual’s allocated clinical supervisor and an explanation about training requirements.
  • Providing an introduction to general practice and primary care.
  • Going through the person’s job description, arrangements for appraisals and how their time will be split across network practices.

The second piece of guidance sets out the principles of supervision for roles new to general practice. It identifies best practice on developing good clinical governance; addresses what supervision is and describes its benefits; sets out what the expectations are from the CQC; and offers tips on how to get the most out of clinical supervision sessions.

For each role in the multidisciplinary team, the guidance also sets out the recommended minimum frequency of supervision meetings and who can provide this supervision. For example, it suggests a general practice assistant should have monthly supervision with a registered nurse, senior clinician/professional including advanced practitioner or GP.

NHS England describes the document as ‘a supporting resource.’

‘It should not be considered as contractual guidance or be used as a lever for contractual enforcement,’ it says.

And ‘it should be read in conjunction with the Network Contract DES.’