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My appraisal – by Perseus the PM

by in Appraisals, Funny

It’s my appraisal tomorrow. As usual I’ve left everything until the last minute. And as usual one of the items on my “I must do better next year” list is “filling in my training and reflections throughout the year”.

This year has been… a challenge… and there’s more and worse to come.

I often get quite emotional during my appraisal, but I’ve sat here reflecting on the year, baring my soul, and for the first time I’ve cried whilst writing it. Goodness knows what I’ll be like tomorrow.

But do you know what? It’s actually been quite cathartic. I’ve talked about how I find it hard to switch off when I leave the practice. How I wake in the night remembering all the things I forgot to do that day and must remember to do tomorrow. How I not only work through my lunchbreak, but I also do emails at home, stay after my working day is finished, and am constantly thinking about what to prioritise.

I’ve highlighted how we’re short-staffed in reception, which means I’m often spending a couple of hours a day answering the phones. How I worry that my deputy will tell me she’s had enough. Or that we’ll get that CQC notification when we’re barely keeping our heads above water with the pandemic. Or that the plates I’m spinning will start to lose momentum, and I’ll drop an important one.

I’ve admitted that I don’t think the partners understand how absolutely awful the workload is at the moment, and I’ve challenged them to walk a day in my shoes.

But I’ve also written down how I’ve accessed the NHS coaching programme* which has given me a chance to vent, and strategies for keeping sane. And I’ve reminded the partners that I’m an employee; I know I’d be missed if I wasn’t in post, but I’m ultimately replaceable.

Appraisal is often seen as a tick-box exercise – something that can be put off until tomorrow because, let’s face it, it ain’t going to get the queue down at reception, or the flu vaccines ordered for next year. But this experience has shown me that it’s important to value myself, to take time to remember I do this because it’s a job I love (even if, like a recalcitrant child, I don’t like it much at the moment!). That practice management is my chosen career, and saying that I’m a practice manager and I work in the NHS makes me proud.

I’m more than a tightly stretched elastic band holding the practice together.

So please, practice managers, make time to stop and reflect. Write down how you’re feeling, show it to the partners and get them to understand. And if they’re unwilling or unable to listen (even if they don’t have all the answers), then give some serious thought as to whether they’re the right partners for you.

*https://people.nhs.uk/lookingafteryoutoo/

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8 Responses to “My appraisal – by Perseus the PM”
  1. Avatar
    Clair Says:

    I feel like you’ve taken everything in my brain and written it down. Ditto for me too!

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    Steve Says:

    Great post, spot on.

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    Tim Says:

    Thank you Perseus – a really important message for your PM colleagues. We know how tough your job is and we really appreciate everything you do.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    PM in Practice Says:

    I usually don’t comment on forums but after reading your post I related so much to it presently! Appraisals is something that we are looking to address within practice now as it was put off due to Covid – the virus has so often been used as a way of saying ‘due to Covid – we won’t be doing this’.

    I have just conducted a lengthy Governance and strategy meeting with Partners to address clinical areas of responsibility – QOF may have disappeared but important that Partners are aware of the pressures and stressors that have replaced this and that the support is there to continue to conduct our roles as PMs.

    The role has most definitely changed and it is very important to protect yourself as PM during this challenging time – something that I have had to address in the last few weeks.

    Always replaceable however important that your efforts are recognised.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    Nicola Davies Says:

    Eloquently expressing how we’re all feeling at the moment. I’m sure we are all nodding our heads as we read this.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    Denise Says:

    Oh bless you ! Well said !

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    Perseus Says:

    So lovely to read your comments. You’ll be pleased to know I didn’t cry too much on the day! And really felt listened to, so very hopeful that good things will come out of it.
    I’m really happy to take requests for my next soul splurge – reply to me here, or contact James at Practice Index who will pass it on.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    Pm Says:

    At my recent appraisal one partner asked , with qof gone what do u do all day? 😡😡🤦🏼‍♀️

    Reply

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