CARE leads to system-wide improvement in BLMK

CARE leads to system-wide improvement in BLMK

General practice nurses and other primary care staff in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) ICS are driving innovation that is reducing demand, have gained/developed stronger leadership skills and are more likely to stay in their roles after taking part in the CARE programme.

Evaluation of CARE in BLMK, which piloted the programme, has shown that 100% of participants felt that they are better able to improve the health of their population and around 75% felt that the likelihood of them continuing to work in primary care is now significantly higher.

Just over 80% felt that their leadership skills had significantly improved.

CARE offers general practice nurses and other primary care professionals practical learning around population health innovation, strengthening leadership and improving wellbeing through webinars with subject matter experts, digital tools and a dedicated community of support.

Participants in BLMK were supported to lead projects that test new ideas and build a case for change. Learning focused on using data to develop more creative, population health-focused ways of working.

One of the projects involved targeted and holistic health & wellbeing support to 35 vulnerable patients after data analysis showed that 73% had a significant unmet need. Identifying and providing better support to these patients is expected to result in a reduction in GP and A&E demand.

The evaluation also indicates that the participants are sharing what they have learned to such an extent that others are also putting their learning and ideas into action. Analysis revealed a Net Promotor Score – which predicts the growth of an idea or approach – of 75, which is classed as ‘excellent’ by the scoring system.

The evaluation also revealed:

  • all participants felt that their ability to put their ideas into practice had improved
  • all participants felt that their influencing skills had improved
  • each participant developed five new or existing relationships which has helped them share learning from the programme. This means that beyond participants, CARE has made a positive difference to around 90 additional staff within BLMK, with this number likely to rise in the coming months.
  • CARE improved job satisfaction and gave the participants skills to manage their emotional wellbeing. Over 83% felt that their job satisfaction and emotional wellbeing had improved and 75% felt that their voice is being heard across the system.

Participants had access to the ShinyMind app, which helped them to look after their own wellbeing and build resilience. The evaluation showed that the app provided valuable support and helped participants put what they learnt into practice.

Karen Storey
Karen Storey

Karen Storey, Primary Care Nursing Lead, NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “CARE combines personal and practical leadership for general practice nurses to enable development and deliver significant system benefits, including better patient outcomes and sustainable ways of working in line with the NHS Long Term Plan. The programme supports local systems to put GPNs at the forefront of change and service redesign, helping to build more collaborative and population health-focused ways of working.”

Janet Thorney, GPN Strategic Lead, BLMK ICS, said: “CARE has been pivotal in helping our GPNs and primary care professionals develop multi professional relationships across the system, drive a population health approach and influence at all levels. The programme has given participants the tools to identify the needs as they are right now, and actively engage with colleagues across the system to address these from the ground up. The projects we are seeing emerge from CARE are exciting and the kind of innovation that improves lives.”

Dr Johnny Marshall
Dr Johnny Marshall

Dr Johnny Marshall, GP and NAPC President, said: “CARE has supported the BLMK participants to be at the forefront of service design and to tap into their intrinsic person-centered approach to improve population health outcomes. They have powered-up innovation where it was needed the most, developed relationships and influenced positive change in others across the ICS. The evaluation shows that CARE offers health systems a potentially high return on investment.”


CARE, which is run in partnership with the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), the GPN 10 Point Plan team at NHS England and NHS Improvement, specialist coaches ShinyMind and BLMK, is being extended to six other regions across the country over the next few months. The programme is being co-designed with each region to ensure support is locally relevant. Learning from BLMK will feed into the wider rollout.

Leave a Reply