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Succeeding as...: a Practice Management Team, 2nd edn

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Succeeding as... a Practice Management Team, 2nd edn

By Barry Coward OBE

Published 2008

164 pages

ISBN 978-1-905832-42-2




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Management is about getting things done. This is a hands-on book written by people who do the job and have learned the lessons 'at the coalface'. It hardly touches on management theory, it advocates no fads, it contains little management speak and very few long words! This is not a book that will languish on the shelf - it is a ready reference that will see frequent use in the practice as it is a source of ideas, and an essential aid to sound management.

Managing a general practice is challenging; the range of skills and competencies that the team must embrace is wide. The practice manager will have the overview, but partners and many of the staff also have vital management roles to play. The experienced manager will dip into this book at will, the less experienced will use it as a guide, and all team members will find it a valuable resource!


Introduction: The practice management team; The practice management tasks; The practice management challenge.

Now and the future: Commissioning; People; Part-time GPs; Patients; Access to primary care; Competition and private providers; Public health and treatment of chronic conditions; Locality groups; IT; Money; Affordability; The future of practice management.

The management team: The practice manager; Partners; The management matrix; Qualifications and experience; Salaries; Leadership and motivation; Gathering intelligence; The courage to get it wrong; Enjoying the job. 

The NHS environment - can we use it to make a difference? The National Health Service

The legal environment: Recruitment; Initial employment; Employer-employee relationship and termination.

IT in general practice: Major functions of clinical systems in general practice; Managing systems; Business functions; Internet and websites; Training and qualifications; IT knowledge; Connecting for health. 

Finance: The new GMS contract; Expenditure; Profit; Cash flow; Superannuation; Tax; The PCO finance team; Payroll and drawings; Paying bills; Keeping the books.

Premises: Existing premises; New premises; Car parking; Health and safety; Disability Discrimination Act; Contingency plans.

A service to patients: Factors affecting service delivery; Making change work; Reception; Dealing with aggression and violence; Accessing services; Staffing and administration; Repeat prescriptions. 

Practice-based commissioning and related changes: Practice-based commissioning; Choose and Book; Payment by Results; The new environment; Role of the practice management team; Funding of clinical and management time.

Working with partners: The partnership secretary; The partnership agreement; Managing the partners.
Working with staff: Motivation; Training; Staff rotation; Keeping everyone happy.

Communicating effectively: Leadership; Getting the message across; Listening and consulting; Running meetings; Organizing awaydays.

Managing change: Understanding the change; Planning the process of change; Engaging those involved in the change; Completing the process - implementation. Managing change resulting from a government directive or legislation; Evaluating outcomes; Keeping the vision. 

Dealing with problems: Staff problems; Complaints; Technical, computer and data problems; Contingency planning. 

Clinical governance: The most important things to remember. Medicolegal matters: Important statutes; Common law; Complaints, complainants and how to respond to them; Professional regulators - the GMC and others; Revalidation; Chaperones; The GP contract; Removal of patients from practice lists. 


The author

Barry Coward OBE



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