This is my first time at blogging so be gentle with me!
I guess I should start by sharing a bit about my background. I’m in my mid 40s, British Asian, and I’ve worked mainly in the private sector since graduating in 1993. I won’t bore you with too much (as you can read it on my LinkedIn profile) but I joined the NHS in 2010 after completing my MBA.
Coming from the private sector I had a lot to learn about the NHS culture, especially patience!
After 4.5 years of success with Central London Community Healthcare I needed a fresh challenge, and that was found in my new role as Practice Manager at St. George’s Medical Centre in Barnet. Considering I had no PM experience, and there were others with more experience available, I feel grateful that the partners at my practice gave me an opportunity here.
Since joining in August it’s been a huge learning curve. Initially I thought it’d be akin to office management, but how wrong I was! Aside from all the nuances there’s QOF, CQRS, Open Exeter, DES, LCS, etc. Thankfully I had assistance from the interim PM (Philip Thompson) who was a great help in helping me get up to speed. That said I feel like I’m still learning every day.
I think the biggest issue I have relates to not anything specific, but the enormity of the role. Pretty much everything could be marked up as a job for the Practice Manager. Of course it’s not all roses. Only this week I had to literally clean up someone else’s s*** (it was so bad I couldn’t let the reception team or the cleaners do it). But on the positive side there is always something to do. Perhaps this is why I’m enjoying it as the time flies by.
One of the really positive parts of the role has been the support from staff at my practice, at all levels. Considering the majority have been here for 10+ years they continue to be very helpful.
I can see at a local level, but also at a borough and national level there is so much that could be improved on. I mean, who on earth thought the Open Exeter and CQRS websites were user friendly when they commissioned them? Furthermore how does anyone stay slim in GP land? I’ve never seen so much chocolate, biscuits and cake being kindly given. I’m sure Mr Kipling is locked away somewhere in our basement.
It’s been just over 5 months since I started and I’m really enjoying it. I’m a big believer in helping people, especially where it improves what we do for patients. Hence why I’m happy to share with my borough PMs as well as fellow PMs on Practice Index anything that I feel would be beneficial to others. Some may have noticed I know my way around Excel and (to a lesser extent) PowerPoint, so feel free to ask me any questions.
When it comes to being a Practice Manager I’m climbing a big learning curve, but thanks to colleagues at my practice and online, the gradient is getting easier to climb.