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Are you new to practice management? Part 1

by in GP Practice Management, Practice Life, Practice Manager, Staff

So you’ve landed your dream job and you’re now the Practice Manager! But if it’s your first time in the industry, are you ready for the challenges that lie ahead? Primary care is unlike any other industry and no two practices are the same. That’s the reality of working in general practice.

Maybe in a former life, you worked in the Armed Forces. Maybe you’ve worked in general practice but it’s your first PM role and you have no prior management experience. Perhaps you’re transferring from another sector? It could be that you’ve worked in acute or secondary care and want a change of career. Whatever your reason, you’ll soon see that the role of practice manager is wide-ranging, often stressful yet hugely rewarding.

So what is it that you need to understand? Okay, well a good place to begin is to complete the Introduction to Practice Management course in the e-learning HUB. This course covers all elements of practice management and gives a good overview of what you’ll need to understand as a practice manager. The course is comprised of six modules, each including videos to support learning and quizzes to help gauge your level of understanding.

Secondly, how about getting to grips with the TLAs? TBH, there are lots of them… and you’ll soon see what I mean! (TLA = Three-Lettered Abbreviations; TBH = To Be Honest). As technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, do you ever wonder what the future impact on the English language will be? Have a look at this video which will provide you with an insight into the vast number of abbreviations used on a daily basis in general practice. It’s hard to imagine a conversation that doesn’t include some form of an abbreviated word.

But it’s not just abbreviations that you’ll need to learn; the world of general practice, it could be said, has its own language. Terms like capitation, weighted list, global sum, Carr-Hill Formula and year-end accounts may not be terms you’re familiar with; however, you’ll realise that you need to understand these terms rather quickly! You’ll use them regularly, along with terms like session, salaried GP, locum, partner, federation and network.

Take time to consider how general practice has evolved and how it continues to evolve. The traditional GP practice is fading fast and the clinical team comprises much more than a GP and a practice nurse. It’s not uncommon to find any of the following professionals working in your practice: Clinical Pharmacists, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Paramedics, Physician Associates, Phlebotomists, Healthcare Assistants and Care Navigators. All have an important role to play and these roles help to reduce the pressure placed on GPs. You can find job descriptions and person specifications here.

Things have changed so much that collaborative working and working at scale are also terms used almost daily in general practice, as more and more practices are considering their options in order to achieve sustainability. But is bigger really better? Take a look here to see if large-scale general practice can work.

As you can see, there’s much to consider and, in fact, we haven’t mentioned contracts, extended hours or DSP toolkits yet! We’ll save those for another time. For now, you’ve got enough to be looking into… until next time.

Ready to find out more? Find part two here and part three here 

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