GPs value their colleagues over their working environment and workload – why are GP Practice colleagues so valuable?
Prospect Health’s GP Salary and Workplace Survey has found that one of the top three factors influencing how happy GPs are in their job is how well they work with their GP Practice colleagues.
Being happy at work in any industry is important for healthy emotional and mental well-being. GP Practice life is becoming notorious for heavy workloads, long patient lists and ‘stress’.
“It’s no wonder that GPs are valuing their colleagues so highly,” comments Jason Dunn, Head of Business Development at Prospect Health.
He continues, “GPs need colleagues at all levels who can support them and help them focus on delivering excellent patient care; we’re seeing how the external pressures of budgets, patient list sizes and patient demographics are effecting GP Practice life, the roles of Practice Managers and ANPs have changed significantly so it’s clear that it’s not just about GPs working in a surgery anymore but the whole team together. Finding a supportive, well managed team is integral to a GP’s success.”
What can GPs do to help a positive working environment for their colleagues?
- Recognise a team leader – have a clear structure within the practice to allow the effective flow of communication and someone who’s role is to bring the team together for meetings
- Regular team meetings – involve people in the setting of objectives and how as a team they are to be met
- Be open to innovation – the NHS changes constantly and to keep up with demands teams need to be able to grow, adapt and facilitate according to these changes, make sure there is a system in place and a culture that embraces change
- Support transparency – enable and encourage team members to have more than one skillset
- Identify mentors – identify team members who can help others to learn, whether it’s an experienced receptionist who can help new recruits learn the phone system or a GP Partner who runs OOH and is responsible for inducting new GPs to the clinic, strong team members who others can learn from encourage self-development and independence
- Encourage flexibility – from working hours, to open discussion; flexibility in the practice leads to quick problem solving and decision making
- Share information – effective communication channels that involve everyone means important information can be shared quickly and be sure to share information such as patient satisfaction surveys with everyone as all team members influence and impact the service you provide your patients
“GP partners should give staff information on practice performance, so they can see how they and their teams are performing. This knowledge can be a powerful tool in motivating staff. The information should be fed into the staff appraisal process when setting individual objectives.”
Practice Managers, what do they suggest for a happy GP Practice team?
“In a GP practice the working environment is directly influenced by the demands from patients; complex patient cases, the ‘NOW’ culture and resistance from patients to ‘keep well’ all impact on the conversation that occurs in the consultation room and in turn effects the demands the team need to meet,” said Val Hempsey at 2018’s Best Practice Conference.
Listening to Practice Managers and how they view the balance of working life in GP practices, Val’s top tips for all team members are:
- Be respectful of the relationship between the GP and the patient
- Recognise Practice Management as a profession in its own right – build a network that you can share best practice with
- Get to know team members’ ‘comfort zones’ and know when to say to say ‘no’ – don’t be the answer to everyone’s problems, share the workload
- Don’t work in isolation – find great people and learn together
- Keep your sense of humour!
If you would like to find out what else GPs value in their workplace then
the Prospect Health GP Salary and Workplace Survey. The survey brings news of salaries and much more and is a fantastic resource for all GPs and their colleagues.
To find out more about Prospect Health’s GP team and how they can help you with your practice recruitment needs contact 01423 813454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can see all our latest GP vacancies here