Continuity planning is important for any business and the time to do it is now, not when the cracks start appearing.
As far as staffing is concerned, no matter how stable the workforce, it’s always possible for a crisis to land on the practice manager’s desk. This could range from a valued member of staff handing in their notice to one of the doctors going on long-term sick leave.
Whatever the nature of the crisis your business continuity plan needs to cover it. You’ll need to analyse your activities, differentiating between critical and non-critical, analyse risk, work through the various scenarios that could arise. As far as staff are concerned, job descriptions, training, job rotation, the robustness of your procedures all have their part to play. As does locum insurance.
Much as I’d like to tell you that you can insure against the resignation of the lynchpin of your admin team, I’m afraid you can’t. But you can insure against their absence – and that of your doctors -through ill-health, jury service, taking compassionate leave and so on.
Just think about how much more flexibility this gives you when a crisis hits:
The head of your accounts team who works 3 days a week and keeps the practice on a financially even keel has phoned in to say she will be off with a health problem for the next 3 months.
Your senior partner slipped and fractured a bone in his spine and won’t be at work for at least 8 weeks.
Whether you are able to divvy up their work amongst colleagues or if you need to bring in help from outside, it’s going to cost you money. We see practices trying to cut corners because they either have no insurance or they don’t have enough so they pile extra work on the remaining staff because they don’t want to – or can’t – fund a potentially expensive locum.
The long-term sustainability of this position is clearly questionable.
Mooreleigh Grove Practice has 3 FT GP partners and 1 salaried doctor working 4 sessions. They have 2 ANPs, a Practice Manager, accounts manager and 4 admin staff.
> They insure
> partners for £2,000 a week each
> salaried GP for £1,000 a week
> ANPs for £350 and £600 a week respectively
> PM for £975 a week
> accounts manager for £350 pw
> staff for amounts ranging from £250 pw to £400 pw each
When the senior partner is injured and is unable to work for 8 weeks (see above) £2,000 a week is paid to the practice (after expiry of their selected deferment period). And there’s an additional £350 pw coming in to cover your finance person (see above).
This is a hypothetical practice, for illustration only.
Insurance can mean you don’t have to cut corners, you don’t have to overload people who are already stretched … and you don’t have to worry how to balance the books when the locum invoices start pouring in.
The opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author on behalf of Practice Cover Limited and they do not constitute individual advice. Practice Cover is a trading name of Practice Cover Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.