Growing Resilience in General Practice
At the LMC we know that sometimes practises need a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in order to face the challenges of working in General Practice. To support GP’s we have developed a Resilience support package. Not all elements are necessary for every practice – but our team can help you to understand how to build your resilience.
Practice Healthcheck Questionnaire (PHQ)
This is an online tool that GMS practices complete (takes about 10-15minutes) which provides a high-level summary of how resilient the practice is. Each practice gets an individualised feedback report, showing their overall score, identifying areas where they can increase their resilience, and giving comparative data so they can benchmark themselves against other practices.
As of November 2019, 138 practices have completed the PHQ (70% of the GMS practices in our area) and so we now have a dataset that is large enough for us to do some statistical analysis on the drivers of practice resilience. A full report is available here.
General Practice Resilience Programme (GPRP)
This programme of work started in 2017 when we were commissioned by NHS England to provide a programme of resilience support to practices as part of the GP Forward View. Practices in the programme meet twice with the LMC Resilience Team to discuss their circumstances and complete the Resilience Assessment Tool (RAT). The RAT is an in-depth tool that builds on the resilience areas identified in the PHQ. It takes a practice around two hours to complete and is then analysed by the LMC and leads to the development of an action plan for the practice.
The aim of the programme is to help practices identify actions that they can take to improve their resilience and long-term planning. Since initially being commissioned in 2017 to work with practice across the LMCs footprint, it has since been recommissioned by both Bedfordshire CCG and BLMK STP. By November 2019, 40 practices have completed this programme.
General Practice Development Programme (GPDP)
Following the initial success our resilience work, we were commissioned by BLMK STP to develop a new programme to run in parallel with the GPRP, that would be offered to resilient practices who were keen to keep developing. The programme is aimed at ensuring these practices maintain and improve their resilience, so they are in a position to both benefit from the opportunities and deal with the challenges being created by development of integrated care systems.
The programme uses three tools to support practice development. Firstly, it uses the RAT used in the GPRP to help practices understand and improve their overall resilience. Secondly, it uses an external financial audit company to conduct a “financial MOT” on the practice to ensure they have the correct systems and governance process in place as they grow their income. Finally, it uses a Motivational Mapping tool to help the partnership better understand their strengths and how they can utilise these to the greatest effect.
Business Fundamentals: Sustainability in General Practice
Following our initial resilience work with practices we identified that many GPs lacked a good understanding of their business. Most GP partners have had no business training and do not have the skills to run a sustainable practice. We therefore designed the Business Fundamentals course to provide GPs with an opportunity to acquire these skills. The modular course takes place over a six-month period, with practical workshops covering law, HR, finance, digital healthcare, leadership, strategic planning and organisational and personal development.
The programmes have been funded by Herts & West Essex and BLMK ICS Training Hubs and we have extended this offer to Practice and Business Managers, non clinical Partners and allied healthcare professionals interested in practice development, leadership, strategic planning and partnerships.
Mentoring Programme for New to Practice Fellows
Following a successful pilot mentoring First 5 GPs launched in 2019, we have extended this to support GPs and GPNs on the New to Practice Fellowship Programme, which began in September 2020. GP and nurse mentors support mentees for up to 6 hours in their first year. The programme has been funded with thanks to Herts & West Essex and BLMK ICS Training Hubs. Fellows can make contact with their local Training Hub and they will be referred into the LMC Mentoring Programme. We hope to expand this service wider in due course.