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What to do when your Primary Care Network Project is failing

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

We all know that a high percentage of projects fail for many reasons, (and I have experienced this many times), but when you’re caught in the storm, these five insights will help to guide you back into the light. But before you jump into the blog, check out my podcast, where I shared my mistakes of when I led a failing primary care network project and what I would do differently.

The full episode can be found here:

Some more reflections.

1. Act sooner rather than later

We need to let go of our egos and talk to our Clinical Directors, Practice Managers and other key colleagues.

Be objective in your analysis. Don’t point fingers; admit your mistakes and take responsibility for your part.

2. Get out of your own way

It’s easy for your confidence to be dented when things aren’t going your way.

If you’re anything like me; you always want to do your best and launch into a personal attack on your abilities when mistakes are made, even if they aren’t always your fault. DON’T DO THIS! Not only does this waste time, but this will keep you where you are instead of where you need to be.

Talk to a friend, coach or colleague and then move on.

3. Revise your plan

It’s clear some things will need to change.

  • Was the overall objective too ambitious?

  • Do you need to revisit the vision?

  • Is the project visible enough?

  • Do you have access to the right resources?

  • Do you need more strategic or operational support?

  • Do you need to buy in some specific expertise?

Revise your plan and be explicit about what you need and what you will do to turn this around.

4. The project may stop…. And that’s OK!

If the project is not going to continue (which may be the best thing that could ever happen to you right now 😉) make the time to reflect and evaluate.

There are always lessons to be learnt, but before you launch into the postmortem, it’s possibly best to wait a couple of weeks for the dust to settle and emotions to stabilise.

5. Full steam ahead

If your project is going to continue, with the support of the sponsors, you will need a revised plan and a positive attitude and you may need to put your foot on the accelerator.

Be focused and organised like never before, work diligently and increase your communication with your teammates.

We hope this helps!

About the Author

I'm Tara; I am the founder of THC Primary Care, an award-winning healthcare consultancy specialising in Primary Care Network Management and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast, where we have now published over 200 episodes. I have over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sectors, and I have supported over 50 PCNs by providing interim management, training and consultancy. I have managed teams across multiple sites and countries; I have an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care, and I am the author of over 250 blogs. I have three children. My eldest has Asthma, my middle child has a kidney condition called Nephrotic Syndrome, and my youngest daughter has Type 1 Diabetes, so outside of work, healthcare plays a huge role in my life.


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