Practice managers are critical in enabling GPs to run their practice effectively, a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has concluded.
The CQC said that ‘leadership, communication and collaboration are among the key drivers of improvement for 10 practices,’ featured in a report it published today.
In nine out of ten cases, the practices improved their rating going from inadequate to good overall.
But one practice, Litcham Health Centre in Norfolk, went from a rating of ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’ in just over a year, after joint practice managers Tony Bailey and Marta Haskiewicz invested a considerable amount of time updating policies and procedures.
The CQC acknowledged that practices improved as they understood that ‘everyone at the practice had a role to play – including clinical, nursing, administrative, managerial staff and patients – and the importance of recognising what each person could contribute to the improvement journey’.
Commenting on the report, health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘The hard-working GPs and staff at these practices which have shown remarkable improvements in quality and safety deserve huge credit.
‘It is a big achievement to come out of special measures, and reaching a good or outstanding rating demonstrates sheer hard work and a real commitment to patient care.’
In his foreword to the report, CQC chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field said: ‘We know that good leadership is critical to improvement and moving forward: GPs provide the clinical leadership, but the practice manager is a key player in enabling them to focus and ensure the effective running of the practice.’
After analysing data collected from the 10 practices, the CQC found that sometimes GPs were struggling to manage their practice on top of focusing on their clinical responsibilities.
Failure would follow in the absence of a practice manager or in presence of a practice manager without the skills needed to lead a team, the CQC said.
The report said: ‘What these inspiring stories of improvement show is that a good practice manager working in tandem with a senior GP can deliver change.’
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