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by Our manager in practice
22 June 2007

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Plugging into practice

Welcome to the first weekly log of many – that is, if you find them interesting enough for me to continue!

When I started thinking about writing a blog, I was a little hesitant. My initial thought was that all us practice managers, while “managing” our separate practices very differently, do more or less the same sort of things each week. It will be interesting to see if this proves to be the case, or if one of the reasons we enjoy our jobs so much is the constant change and the fact that no two days are the same!

This week didn’t start so well. Having taken my laptop home at the weekend (as I usually do, full of good intentions of what I will do, only I rarely end up using it!) I promptly arrived at work minus the power lead, therefore having to return home within two hours to collect it while the battery lasted. I am attributing my addled brain to the extra pressure involved in having building work carried out at home! (Note to self: buy another power lead.)

My weeks seem to consist of meetings ad infinitum at times – with the inherent task of typing the minutes and inevitably all the actions have my initials by them. Thus the week started (when I got back) preparing for the weekly executive meeting at lunch time and preparing the agenda for the monthly partners meeting for Tuesday evening. I followed this by checking all the outstanding jobs from previous minutes – a very long list!

On Tuesday morning, yet more information arrived on hoop jumping for the IM&T directed enhanced service (DES) by way of targets for the Information Governance Toolkit. We really should have known better when the 2004 new GMS contract promised less bureaucracy and paperwork.

In my 20 years as a practice manager, I am sure I have never had so many new dictats and targets to comply with. Then, to further work on the year’s budget and cash flow forecast, ready for the evening meeting, and sorting out cover for staff sickness (another note to self: check with nurse that bad back not result of anything work-related).

On Wednesday, I was late getting to the practice again – more builder problems at home following the 11.30pm finish of the partners meeting the night before! Time to switch focus today for the locality practice-based commissioning (PbC) meeting – at least all the actions from this meeting are not mine! Finally feel we are making some progress, having received details from the PCT on an incentive scheme for this year, allowing us to afford a manager, which will greatly aid progress. Receiving timely budgets and information would help, but we are struggling on trying to make sense of it all and design new care pathways.

High hopes for Friday – no meetings booked, so a good day to get on with the paperwork, hopefully refreshed after day off (although spent running around doing all those silly little time-consuming jobs). However, office manager still off sick so best laid plans …

One of my usual Friday tasks is to try to catch up with the magazines and journals at lunchtime. I was interested to see articles referring to the results of a survey carried out by the Healthcare Commission. Apparently, 9 out of 10 patients were happy with their experiences in hospital. But having choice of admission date or hospital and information to make an informed decision were ranked bottom of 82 issues (so much for Choose and Book).

This reminded me of our discussion on Tuesday evening on the results of our Access survey (which were very good) and what had happened to the national results, which were apparently supposed to be published on Tuesday, but which I have yet to find!

Well, I started this thinking there wouldn’t be much to say and I have rambled on. Friday is fast drawing to a close and I’ve still got all that paperwork to do …

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