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ELITE programme

The ELITE (Engage, Learn, Improve, Transform, Embed) programme is a capability-building programme aiming to help PCNs use an evidence-based approach to make improvements that are informed by their operational data. 

The programme is implemented by SCW which provides transformational support and uses the APEX software, a business information tool for General Practice operational data that is supplied by Edenbridge Healthcare. The programme works with all GP practices in a primary care network over approximately six months. It includes running an appointment audit, validation of and analysis of appointment data to identify opportunities, organisational development workshops, and coaching through improvement cycles to generate real benefits, measured using PCN data.

The programme has a target of freeing up 2% of GP capacity (or nursing if chosen) in-programme through demand management changes. PCNs can then use this released capacity in a way that works for them, for example, it could be cash releasing or could be used to improve access.

South East ELITE Programme pilot

NHSE South East commissioned a pilot of the ELITE programme for a group of PCNs in Sussex and Kent & Medway ICSs.  The pilot commenced in October 2021 and the proof of concept report is now available 221114 ELITE Proof of concept.  

Features of the product/service 

  • To participate in the programme, PCNs and practices must have the APEX software commissioned, installed and configured. Also, all GP practices in a PCN must sign up to participate
  • APEX provides data in the format of charts and dashboards that are easy to understand and designed specifically for primary care use so the PCN can quickly identify opportunities  
  • Data quality issues that might impact practice and PCN performance are recorded and can be explained with support from the ELITE coach
  • ELITE coaches support practices to identify activity and capacity management opportunities from the data and use process maps to develop improvement hypotheses. Example opportunity areas are avoidable appointments, frequent attenders and wound care
  • ELITE coaches facilitate the process for PCNs to agree on which improvement project they will pursue. The PCN then undertakes an improvement cycle with the coach providing project resources, analytical support, and coaching and facilitation as required, aiming to help the PCN release at least 2% of GP or nurse capacity during the programme
  • The programme builds capability, understanding and data standards at PCN level to enable individual practices to begin to harness the benefits of working together
  • An ELITE case study library is evolving, where previous improvement activities can be reviewed and considered by subsequent PCNs undertaking the ELITE programme

Impact and customer feedback

One of the pilot PCNs addressing avoidable appointments saved 2.5% of GP capacity which equates to 27 appointments or approx. 1 clinical session per week.  This has a cash equivalent value of c£19,000 per year in a single practice PCN.

In another of the pilot PCNs the equivalent of 0.3 full-time equivalent nursing capacity has been transferred from wound care to other care by training and equipping Health Care Assistants to deliver lower complexity wound care activities. 

“Having independent support to ensure best practice on stats and approach, in particular, was critical – don’t think we could have done this on our own” – Operations Manager 

“It’s not common to evaluate what you do in primary care, so a new way of thinking. But it is really powerful and important” – Clinical Director 

“The Elite programme opened my eyes to Apex and made us focus on a plan to address issues rather than just talking about them” – Practice Manager 

“You know, I don’t think the rest of the practice probably know what we’ve done yet. It’ll come as a complete surprise when we present it to them.” – Practice manager 

“[ELITE] is really good for improving quality. It improves patient care. It’s good for CQC because you’re actively looking to improve and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The fact that you’ve made this massive change to the practice gives you job satisfaction.” – Practice manager

To find out more, contact the ELITE programme team This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For our working area, please visit our Futures site (requires a login to the FutureNHS platform)



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