Carolyn Porton and Chris Hall, GP liaison managers at the MDU, explain what their role involves and discuss the MDU’s GROUPCARE scheme.
What does being a GP liaison manager involve?
Carolyn Porton (CP): Being a GP liaison manager involves a lot of multi-tasking! Our role is to support GROUPCARE practices with any query they might have about their team with regards to membership issues and general enquires relating to their day to day running of a GP practice. We will also visit group care practices on a daily basis to meet members and deal with queries face to face and deliver the in-house training sessions for the team.
A further role we have is to perform a risk assessment for practices which offers a written report for the team to help them identify risks from a medico-legal perspective, these risk assessments can also help practices prepare for CQC inspections.
Chris Hall (CH): A GP liaison manager is a local point of contact for GP practices. We provide a high level of support for MDU members and can assist with a range of membership queries including providing quotes for prospective members and ensuring existing members are correctly indemnified. We also deliver a range of practice based training seminars which are available to all GROUPCARE practices. Seminar topics include confidentiality, information governance and dealing with challenging patients.
Why did you decide to become a GP liaison manager?
CP: I had worked within the pharmaceutical industry for many years and had a very diverse knowledge of the NHS. I had also taken career breaks to take up mentoring and training roles. This opportunity seemed like a great amalgamation of the two and I have been in this role for over 11 years now at the MDU.
CH: My first role at the MDU was as a dental liaison manager for the dental division of the MDU (DDU) where I supported dental students and newly qualified dentists. I wanted to build on the skills I learned in this role by becoming a GP liaison manager. The broad range of training I would be delivering and the chance to build long lasting relationships with GP practices is what really drew me to the role.
What does a typical day look like in this role?
CP: A typical day will start with dealing with the many queries we receive by email and phone before heading out on the road to visit one or two practice managers to provide face to face support. We will then travel onto the practice where our seminar will be taking place and deliver a session with a team providing education and discussion around one of the many topics we cover.
We will usually head back to our offices after the meeting to pick up further queries that have come in and also deal with any queries that have come from our meetings and discussions with members whom we have met that day. We are also constantly learning and researching information as well as gaining input from our team of medico-legal experts, all doctors. This ensures our seminars are up to date and I am educated on the topics we will be discussing with members.
CH: Part of the appeal of the GP liaison manager role is that there really isn’t a typical day as every day is different. However, I’m generally always out visiting practices to deliver training seminars and assisting with membership queries. A day can comprise of a practice training meeting and further meetings with practice managers to discuss their indemnity requirements.
What support do GP liaison managers provide GP practice managers?
CP: We are there to help with any queries around a members’ payment or work details and also general enquires about the group scheme as a whole. We provide a consistent link as their account manager so that they know there is always a single point of contact they can turn to if they have questions or need support.
We support their teams through the training sessions we deliver when often it can be helpful to explore a topic further after initial online training has taken place. We are also able to perform risk assessments for practices who qualify for this free service. This offers a general overview of all risk related topics and provides a clear report with actions for the practices once completed.
CH: We provide a face to face service for practice managers to manage their group schemes, deal with queries, resolve problems and deliver essential risk management training for the whole team.
What is GROUPCARE?
CP: GROUPCARE is the MDU’s scheme for practices who have GP’s who are members of the MDU. It’s free to set up, giving you access to a valuable range of exclusive practice benefits. Participating practices need to have at least half of their GPs as MDU members (with a minimum of 2 MDU GPs), excluding GP locums, GPSTs and trust indemnified GPs.
What are the benefits of GROUPCARE?
CH: There are many advantages to GROUPCARE including having a dedicated local GP liaison manager, access to online practice-based CPD support and a 24-hour employment law advice-line for all GROUPCARE members. When all GPs in a practice are MDU members they can unlock additional benefits including free medico-legal training and access to an employee assistance help line for practice staff.
CP: GROUPCARE enables a GP practice to access many additional benefits such as free practice-based seminars on topics including, good record keeping, treating young people and preventing and managing complaints. Also, GROUPCARE members can take advantage of a 24-hour health and safety advice line and have access to expert medico-legal advice for the whole team. There is also a 10% discount on subscriptions when all GPs in the practice are MDU members.
How to apply for GROUPCARE?
CP: To set up a MDU GROUPCARE scheme you can download an application form from the MDU website. Alternatively you can get in touch with your local GPLM who can help you with the set-up of your scheme and plan a visit to meet you and discuss the benefits face to face.
To learn more about the benefits of the MDU’s GROUPCARE scheme visit: https://www.themdu.com/groupcareor follow us @The_MDU