Wessex Local Medical Committees (LMC), NHS England and Health Education England (HEE) have launched a training programme for practice managers.
The programme was developed by former practice manager Louise Greenwood following the outcomes of 136 practice manager appraisals, which were carried out in Spring 2017.
‘Currently this is available to Dorset and Hampshire and Isle of Wight as it is being funded by Health Education Wessex. We are in discussion with Health Education South West to expand this to cover Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire,’ said Ms Greenwood.
The programme aims to provide experienced managers with more knowledge through practical exercises and case studies, which they can use back in their practices.
‘As with GPs and practice nurses, this is a generational retirement time for many practice managers.
‘A lot of people are retiring now so we have to recognise that as the issue and see how we can make general practice more sustainable for the future, she added.
Wessex LMCs already offers support to practice managers through its practice manager supporters. This initiative is based on a scheme developed by Marion Foster in Scotland.
‘Over the past 2 decades, there have been greater expectations and demands on the practice manager and their professionalism, capabilities, knowledge and skills. This has been driven by the increased awareness of the need to improve quality across health care.
‘If practice managers are to meet the challenges of the ever-changing NHS, they have to be more competent than ever before and have the knowledge and skills to deal with the quantity, chaos and complexity of information relevant to the Practice Manager’s eclectic role and responsibilities,’ said Ms Foster.
The trainings will take place in Dorset and Hampshire across 24 days with 12 topics practice managers can decide to attend or not.
Every training day costs £85. NHS England funds the rest, £126, with a part of the £6 million destined for practice manager development as outlined in the General Practice Forward View (GPFV).
Practice managers wishing to participate are expected to have at least 12 months of experience. The trainings start on 21 November in Hampshire and 28 November in Dorset and run until July 2018.