General practice is at a crossroads and, in order to preserve its value as a specialty, we need to take charge of our own futures and actively influence the direction of patient care.
There has never been a greater need for strong leadership to guide us through the changes and challenges we all face in the years ahead. To do this, we need a new generation of leaders, who can engage with the issues and take the profession forward ultimately to provide better health services for our patients.
Working hard in our practices, it is easy to get preoccupied with day-to-day business, and it can be hard to step back and take a long-term view of where we as professionals – and our practices – would like to be in the future.
That is why I would welcome your help in identifying our future GP leaders.
The RCGP Leadership Programme is recruiting for its next intake, starting in October 2007, and you must have colleagues who would be suitable candidates.
The programme is aimed at all GPs, whether they are clinical governance leads, examiners, GP trainers, or simply GPs who want to become better leaders.
It requires commitment and is intellectually challenging – but lasts for only one year, and a variety of support, including a personal online tutor, is provided.
It is the only one of its kind aimed at “real” GPs, and is structured around the issues that matter to primary care professionals, their organisations and their communities. These might include the changing role of GPs and practice teams, the rise in salaried practitioners, practices moving from partnerships to multiprovider unit franchises, and the challenges of practice-based commissioning.
Most importantly, the programme provides a wealth of information and ideas that can be brought back and shared with the practice team, long after the final assignment has been handed in.
If you have a colleague who you think this would appeal to, please visit the RCGP website (www.rcgp.org.uk) or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. I guarantee they’ll thank you for it in years to come!