Practice managers have received a special thanks from NHS England’s directors of primary care for ‘everything they have done throughout the pandemic’.
In a primary care bulletin (29 October), the two directors, Dr Nikki Kanani and Ali Sparke, said they wanted to specifically thank practice managers, along with receptionists, admin teams, nursing staff, pharmacists, and allied health professionals, because without them ‘general practice doesn’t work’.
They also thanked NHS colleagues from ‘different ethnic backgrounds who have delivered care while feeling worried about their health, and for missing special festivals that are usually celebrated with so many others’.
This comes as the latest GP appointments data for September 2020 showed a 20% increase compared to August. It also revealed 143.4 million appointments have been delivered since March.
‘These figures show what many of us have known intimately throughout the pandemic – that our general practice teams (because it has been a team-wide effort) have been working incredibly hard to rapidly adapt to how they offer care to keep patients and staff safe while maintaining services,’ the directors said.
Dr Kanani and Mr Sparke urged practice managers to ‘take some time to rest and recharge knowing that you are valued and appreciated’.
‘We know you are feeling tired, and we know you are doing the very best you can in an incredibly difficult time,’ they added.
Abuse and vandalism
Earlier this week, Charlotte Keel Medical Practice in Bristol was vandalised with ‘anti-GP’ graffiti, which included a message left for the practice’s GPs using foul language. GPs have linked the attack to negative messages in the mainstream media about practices during the pandemic.
Practice managers have also recently reported increasing abuse from patients, with one telling Management in Practice that they have found themselves targeted on social media.
According to Cogora’s latest annual primary care survey, more practice managers have experienced abuse from patients than any other primary care professionals.