The Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) is pushing ahead with recruiting regional representatives, following the launch of its membership scheme.
The regional representatives, who would align with the NHS regions, will be expected to represent management staff within their region when communicating with external bodies, such as NHS or the BMA, a spokesperson for the IGPM said.
Speaking to Management in Practice today (5 March), Robyn Clark, a co-founder of the IGPM, said the reps would be responsible for identifying ‘the main issues [and] offering support to practice managers or people in management in their area’, as well as representing individual areas of expertise.
‘If the NHS contacts us and says we need a practice manager’s viewpoint on patient participation, for example, and we’ve got a regional representative who’s got a special interest in that; has a lot of activity with that, we can say: this is the person to talk to,’ Mrs Clark said.
Mrs Clark, who is practice manager at Kingswood Health Centre, Bristol, added that the recruitment process has been supported in part by funding sourced through the IGPM’s new membership scheme, which was launched at the body’s latest meeting this week (3 March).
The IGPM is currently organised under an executive board, which consists of four co-founders, an academic lead, and four representatives for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Regional representatives would operate on the programme board, working with representatives from the BMA and RCGP, Mrs Clark told Management in Practice.
‘Different practices, even within the same CCG area for example, have different issues because patient demographics are different everywhere and different CCGs work differently, so I think there will be some variation,’ she said.
‘That’s why we want these regional representatives: we want them to feel confident to stand up for their fellow colleagues in those settings with the backing of the whole organisation behind them.’
Accreditation for practice managers
The membership scheme launched at the meeting costs £50 for a year and has received 215 sign ups so far. While still under development, Mrs Clark said it will allow practice managers to apply for title accreditation in the future, based on personal experience and qualification.
This would offer the ‘professional recognition that a lot of our clinical colleagues can get’, she added.
The development of the accreditation programme will be led by professor James Kingsland, a GP and former president of the National Association of Primary Care, who has also been named an honorary member of the executive board.