Ann Neville is the practice manager for Darwen Healthcare which recruited 3 GPs during the last year and a half and has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.
Ann spoke at Management In Practice Manchester today (8 June) about her experience of implementing change in her practice at a session called: ‘When recruitment gets tough, the tough get recruiting’.
‘I always thought we had a stable GP base and then we had a bombshell,’ she said.
‘In December 2015 our GP announced that they were going to be off for nine months for maternity leave. Three months later our second GP was also going to be off for mat leave for 12 months. And four months later we had a GP partner that was going to be off for six months.
‘So we had an immense amount of GP sessions to fill. I had to do something.’
Ann has been with Darwen Healthcare since August 2013. She started as the customer service manager before being promoted to practice manager in December 2014.
When the staff ‘bombshell’ occurred the practice decided not to spend money on advertising the three roles but instead did it through NHS jobs and word of mouth.
Ann asked colleagues in their area to pass the advert on to past registrars who had qualified the year before.
This led to the recruitment of a four-session GP and a six-session GP. The new recruits were then asked what it was that made them come on board and their feedback was used to improve recruitment further. The emphasis was on allowing GP’s work to be clinical-led rather than administrative.
Investing in the training of reception, administrative and nursing staff frees up time for GPs to work more with patients.
For example, the practice has developed a home visit team which includes practice nurses, advance nurse practitioners and health care assistants.
‘We already know that we have a GP who’s retiring in two years so we have secured one of locums as an eight-session GP from August,’ Ann told the conference.
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