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by Our manager in practice
27 June 2010

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Why enjoying practice management should be our greatest goal

So now we know – or do we? – what’s in store for us over the next five years. There certainly seem to be a lot of changes forecast, despite promises over less dictats/targets and top-down management!

But has anything changed for you yet? There is a lot of speculation about what will happen, but whatever this is seemingly we will be in the thick of it! I think we will have to wait and see what actually transpires. I’m sure we will rise to the challenge in general practice as always – whatever is thrown at us.

Meanwhile, it is time to get on with the day job. Way back when I started on this practice management lark, there actually used to be fluctuations in workload, certainly a seasonal fluctuation with regard to patients. Now it seems to be a high workload all the time.

Meetings are a particular bugbear of mine at the moment. Everyone seems to want to come and discuss something with the practice manager – or even the local group of managers – and that’s on top of various meetings in the practice! Still, it’s nice to be popular!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not really moaning (and looking at some recent blogs I’m wondering if they are sounding whining!) because I really love my job. I actually love the fact that I very rarely complete that job I started first thing before I go home; I love the variety and having to switch “hats” constantly throughout the day; I love the patient contact (what little there is, especially when it’s not about a complaint), and I love my colleagues, both in and out of the practices. I don’t think either that I am unusual in this – there must be many of you that feel the same way – otherwise there wouldn’t be any practice managers!

This week has been fairly typical, with a meeting on Monday, one on Tuesday, two each on Wednesday and Thursday; luckily I haven’t had to produce minutes for all of them! They are a necessary part of communication I feel, and generally better than working through the deluge of emails.

When I get to the end of the day and once again realise several jobs are still outstanding, I am likely to curse the meetings – and the many interruptions – until I remind myself that this is what managing a practice is all about. Everyone needs someone to refer to, to guide us towards our goals, and that is where we come in.

Goals, did someone say goals! (Or should that be gaols!) At the moment it feels a bit like prison to me, as I can’t seem to find anything on TV to relax with in the little bit of the evening available between work and bed. Still, as was said to me today: “It’s only every four years, what if you could only go shopping every four years?”

Now, shopping … I knew there was a reason why I was trying hard not to work at weekends!

Get the balance right and enjoy the job, but enjoy your life and the summer as well.

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“What an enjoyable article. I feel the same, I love all aspects of my job – the interaction between GPs, staff, and patients, and like the person who wrote the article I don’t often get to finish a job started at the beginning of the day before at least another four land on my desk. I have been in general practice for about 25 years and a manager for 19. I could have retired a year ago but do not feel ready to go yet. My boss and I were discussing the general election recently and we agreed that, governments, health authorities and PCTs come and go and we are still here working hard for our patients, who are the most important people in the practice. I would like to see the NHS managed by a Health Commission and not one individual political party, it is time to take the NHS out of politics. Long live general practice” – Anna Richardson, Essex