In 2021, we formed a strong team in designing a programme to meet all the development needs of new and aspiring General Practice Partners.
Ben Gowland is the host of the General Practice Podcast and former NHS Chief Executive, serving eight years.
Robert McCartney is a solicitor specialising in Primary Care.
Dr Naj Seedat is a GP Principal and Partner at an extensive practice in Ilford, North East London. An LMC Board member, he was instrumental in developing the local GP federation and is also a GP appraiser.
The programme started in September 2021, and we are excited to be running a second cohort starting on 1st February.
Lessons learned from Cohort 1
The course was divided into 20 sessions, designed to address three broad areas;
Understanding the Business (i.e. what goes on within the practice);
Understanding the Environment (i.e. what is happening around the practice that affects it);
Understanding the risks (i.e. how do you build a strategic plan for the future?).
The course was originally designed to be completed in an hour, every fortnight over nine months. This timetable was intentional so that the course wouldn't be too demanding on GP time.
We've found that participants agreed and it made the course manageable for them in terms of time. The challenge, however, has been working out how to cover large topics, such as managing people or understanding premises, in just an hour.
We have been working hard to make these sessions as efficient as possible, but some topics required an extended session. For example, when accountant James Gransby ran the session on 'Understanding Practice Finances,' we had to make the session 1.5 hours. And even then, it was a challenge to cover everything for such a complex topic!
Another challenge we have experienced is how to make sessions interactive when there is so much content to cover. Within an hour timeframe, the scope for a really interactive session is limited. However, we know that the more interactive a session is, the more valuable it can be for participants.
One of the biggest challenges new partners experience is taking on the role of a 'business owner' and what this means in terms of how they lead and manage staff.
Taking on the role of a business owner is a critical area for GP partners, as their leadership style affects the culture of the whole practice.
As a result of these learnings, we have made some changes to the delivery of the training programme.
For the 2022 cohort of new or aspiring General Practice Partners, the new format content will be delivered over six half-day sessions each month. As a result, we can facilitate more extended and interactive sessions, tailoring the content to the specific needs of those in the programme.
We have also included core strengths training as a standard. Core Strengths Training is incredibly valuable in helping new partners understand and develop their leadership style. As a half day session, this enables us to delve into the topic of leading and managing people. Not only is this a lot of fun (take a look at our past testimonials!), it's incredibly insightful and can be applied practically.
Why work with us?
Not only will you have access to our combined years of experience, but you'll also have access to our network. This includes those who work alongside general practice partners from practice managers, other GP partners and James Gransby, our resident general practice accountant.
Alongside the 4 of us being colleagues and friends, we have worked together for years in various capacities. We continue to collaborate, recognising that there is strength in numbers and that our skill sets are complementary. We see the same thing from multiple perspectives; you can lean on whoever resonates with you the most.
We have amassed an extensive repository of resources between us, which will help you understand our training style and approach. Ben covers general practice in his blog and podcast. My specialisms in leadership, team development, and primary care network management are consistent themes on our blog and podcast, The Business of Healthcare Podcast.
The New to GP Partnership Programme is a practical course. This was important to all of us when creating each session. We debate and refine the content for each session to ensure you get the very best and the most value. Every session has been created by us, as healthcare professionals involved in daily general practice.
Is the programme right for you?
This programme is for new General Practice Partners or for those considering becoming a partner within the practice and wanting to:
Build their leadership and learn new skills
Further understand business management and how to take your GP Practice to an outstanding level
We know your time is precious, but alongside attending the sessions, the real work takes place in practice, seeing you implement and experiment with the lessons learnt.
The programme for our next cohort commences on the 1st February 2022.
There are limited places remaining for this cohort. If you or a colleague in your practice is interested, the details on the programme can be found here. Alternatively, get in touch, and I would be happy to discuss the programme and what is covered in more detail so that you can decide if this is the right programme for you. Please email me to arrange a time to connect at email@example.com.