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Thornfields Launches Two New Courses

Thursday 22nd Aug 2013 - Kate Hodkinson

Practice management has changed dramatically since its inception in the 1970’s – and changed again since the creation of the GMS 2 contract in 2003. If you look back to the competence framework developed for practice management at the time, its focus was on operation issues with no mention of the types of activities driving practice management now.

The new NHS structure is steering practices and especially practice managers into uncharted waters – this type of change can lead to many different levels of fear, anxiety or excitement and it is up to the practice manager to lead the way. There are a variety of new skills required by practice managers to ensure this process happens efficiently and effectively:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Managing the partners time and commitment
  • Marketing
  • Commissioning
  • Patient engagement
  • Skill  mix management

Thornfields is still leading the way in developing the courses that will help managers and their team remain in control and in front in the future. We have two new courses which are available from September to provider managers with the confidence required to take on new areas of work and really support the development of the practice.

New Course: Fit for the Future

A one day programme for managers – and partners as well if they can be persuaded to attend!  This course will begin with a look at the future, the importance of having a development or business plan and understanding your readiness to change. Not every practice is in a position to change easily – and for some, there may be some parts of the business or the team that need addressing before major changes can be undertaken. This course will look at creating the right team balance for the future and will focus on:

  • Competence and setting standards for the practice team
  • Understanding skill mix and looking at how you change from what you've got to what you need
  • Creating change plans including understanding resistance to change, making changes in your workforce and creating your workable plan.

Overall, this course is designed to prepare managers to consider what the practice team needs to be like in the future and plan how they are going to achieve the workforce that they need. For more information on the Fit for the Future course visit the Thornfields website.

New Course: Promoting and Marketing your Practice

The development of the CCGs and the changes in commissioning which are starting this year, are creating a new culture for general practice – one in which real competition features quite strongly. The requirement for CQC registration has also readied the importance of excellent customer services and patient participation and engagement. Many people in primary acre are uncomfortable with the view of patients as customers – when patients have choice about where they go for services, they take on important characteristics of customers. And, what is often as important as what the primary care providers think is what the patients think. There is definitely a view from the patients that they see themselves as customers. Practices need to start acting now to ensure that they remain the provider of choice for their patients – and that might mean greater levels of patient engagement and communication and good marking of the services available. This new one day course for managers will explain the NHS guidance on marketing and promoting services and also enable practices to think about what they might be delivering in the future that they need to make their service users aware of. The course focuses on new ways of getting greater patient engagement by understanding the patients perception better and why the already like what they get from you. Delegates will also learn how to use creative communication strategies and social media to help ensure that patients fully understand what is available and how to use services effectively. The final part of the course aims to address one of the most important issues which is developing a corporate (or consistent – if you are not happy with the word corporate) approach and getting the team on board and involved. An action plan for the practice will end the day – providing managers with the first steps in moving forward. For more information on the Promoting and Marketing your Practice course visit the Thornfields website. Thornfields continues to support the whole practice team and provides a comprehensive range of courses for managers and staff – contact us for details of how we can support training for compliance with CQC including key areas such as:

  • Health and safety training
  • Confidentiality and information governance
  • Chaperone training
  • Customer care

And many other essential topics.


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