At the start of the year we asked our members to post questions for an interview with Dr Robert Varnam (Director of General Practice Development at NHS England). We had an excellent response, and here is the interview!
A brief recap of The Practice Manager Development Fund:
A £6 million investment in practice manager development, alongside access for practice managers to the new national development programme. Working with practice manager leaders, the programme will support networking between managers at a local and national level, to share successful ways of managing workload and provide peer-to-peer encouragement and support.
The whole interview can be seen below but if you’d like to skip to specific answers, please see the timings under the video. If you click the timings it will take you to that part of the video in a new window.
1) How easy will it be to obtain funding?
4 minutes 37 seconds
2) Will the criteria be easy to follow or, as in the past, will the application forms be complex and time consuming?
I didn’t ask this question because Robert answers this in question 1 and also at 5 minutes 17 seconds
3) Practice Managers can see the benefit of working more collaboratively, however, how do we stop the mass hysteria of ‘federate or be left on the shelf’ phenomenon, currently engulfing some practices?
6 minutes 40 seconds
4) What practical assistance and support will be offered to Practice Managers who do decide to work collaboratively on a local level without joining a super practice?
12 minutes 35 seconds
5) There are many differing skills currently underpinning practice management – how can we be sure that this programme will meet the needs of the masses?
15 minutes 31 seconds
6) Many of our members work in the remoter parts of England and find it very difficult to justify two days away to attend conferences in London. Can technology be used to allow them to attend from their desks?
19 minutes 40 seconds
7) When will NHSE involve Practice Managers (who manage the business) at the outset of change discussions, as opposed to later on down the line, when often it is too late?
22 minutes 37 seconds
8) How will you reach those that do not engage?
27 minutes 40 seconds
9) What are the real timescales for achieving this change?
32 minutes 01 seconds
Final message from Robert
37 minutes 53 seconds