The PICRT (Practice Improvement And Crisis Response Team) is a regional service which supports practices at risk to develop and implement an effective Practice Recovery Plan.

The PICRT provides expert General Practice managerial support at short notice for practices at high risk or in a crisis. Practices in crisis can also gain improved access to clinical GP cover at short notice to assist struggling practices who are under intense pressure and at risk of collapse . The PICRT comprises of Salaried GP’s to provide clinical leadership and GP staff to go into practices to provide support.  The GP’s are managed and supported by two managers from EFSU, with extensive practice management experience.

When a practice does collapse the GP will hand the contract back to SPPG, leaving patients with no GMS cover, thus putting pressure on neighbouring practices. The PICRT can be available to practices in trouble with 2 weeks notice.  Their input is free to the practice. When the team is not undertaking PICR work they may be available for locum work using an online booking system.

Referrals occurs through the SPPG local offices. Once the practice is referred the PICRT managerial team visits the at risk practice and helps formulate a short and medium term plan to keep the practice’s services in place while seeking to design a longer term strategy to stabilise the practice.

Resources that can be used include workload review and requests for additional resources from Federations and SPPG, input from members of a list of experienced GPs and Practice Managers that they can arrange to connect with the practices, and sessional GP input. Generally, the PICRT will be involved in supporting practices  up 6 months. There is active review of the support given to practices.

PICRT encourage Practice Improvement and support practices with this.  We will share learning and we believe this will further stabilise General Practice for a sustainable service for patients in NI.

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