Drawing on our early experience of around 20 investments in community-based and preventative services, such as through the Social Finance Care and Wellbeing Fund, the paper makes the case for:
- Investing additional resources into some Primary Care Networks (PCN), where relationships between providers are already strong and scope for reducing health inequalities high, to enable them to become full Neighbourhood Integrators; and,
- Strengthening service development and improvement capability and back-office systems within many individual providers.
We outline our preliminary assessment of the costs of such investment: an extra £250k-£350k per annum for a typical Neighbourhood Integrator (£5-£7 pa per head of population) and, although needs vary enormously, an average one-off investment in provider capability of £8-£15k per head of population served.
Such funding would need to be carefully allocated and managed, as part an investment approach to achieving better population health outcomes. It would not yet be appropriate in every neighbourhood. But with the right conditions, investment in PCN and local provider capacity should play an important role in enabling front line staff to achieve the aims of the Long-Term Plan.