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It’s now more important than ever to have strong leaders in healthcare
Written by Jordan Odell, Digital Marketing Executive

Good management and strong leaders are vital to ensuring the effective use of resources in the current healthcare sector where there is pressure to manage the increasing demand of patients.
Better engagement between health service leaders, managers and doctors should achieve a more coherent and long term vision of health service provisions, which in turn will alleviate the stress put on to healthcare professionals to meet the demands of a society with an increase in immigration, and the aging population.

In the last eight years, workloads in general practice have increased by as much as 16%, with some practices approaching 200 consultations a day in 2016, according to The Telegraph.

Following the largest ever inquiry into GP and Nurse consultations, leading doctors now warn that this sector of healthcare is in “crisis” and that it could be nearing “saturation point”.

The study, based on the analysis of more than 100 million GP and nurse sessions at 398 GPs in England found the number of weekly consultations per practice has risen from 902 in 2007 to 984 in 2014.

“The demands on general practice have increased substantially over the past seven years. Recruitment of new GPs and nurses remains low while the population in England steadily increases.

“As currently delivered, the system seems to be approaching saturation point.” Said Professor Richard Hobbs, lead author from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care and Health Sciences as the University of Oxford.

This increasing demand for face-to-face GP consultation can be due to the fact that since 2008, the English population has increased from 51.4 million in 2008 to 54.3 million in 2014. A rise largely fuelled by immigration, with net migration to the UK at 249,000 in 2016.

MedicineOther contributing factors found by the study conducted by Oxford University found that the two groups which impacted most on consultation rates were elderly people and infants under the age of five. As well as this, the average consultation time with a GP had increased by five per cent, with most appointments lasting almost nine minutes. The authors of the study warned that if a patient’s consultation time reaches the 10-minute mark, doctors and nurses have little time to perform other tasks in between appointment.

While the study does not focus on what factors are driving longer consultation periods, Prof Hobbs speculated: “It is likely to be a combination of more complex problems, more infirm patients, more demanding patients and less continuity of care. We will be hoping to explore some of these factors in future research.”

He added that the combination of population growth, low levels of recruitment in GPs and the demands of the elderly will mean consultation rates continue to rise in the future.

“In 2015, GPs in England reported having the lowest job satisfaction rates since records began in 2001. NHS plans to recruit an additional 5,000 GPs will take some time and crucially depend on an improved appeal of general practice as a career choice.”

Because of these pressures, practices are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain GPs as GPs are opting to build a portfolio career, or work part time. Meaning that fewer doctors are aspiring to become partners in their practices, though it is more vital than ever for GPs and nurses to take on leadership roles.

In a report compiled by The Kings Fund, they state, “securing the future of general practice cannot be achieved simply through more of the same, even though more investment is needed. It requires a willingness to do things differently, building on examples of approaches already in development in several areas.” This willingness to do things differently could come from new leaders who are stepping forward in order to make a change to the current healthcare climate.

To support the need for more leaders within the healthcare sectors, the Mary Seacole programme has been set up with the aim of providing the balance between theory and practical applications. Designed for those looking to move their leadership, it empowers people to turn their success into consistent team success, to champion compassionate patient care and support the need of face-to-face GP consultation.

It is a six month programme which was designed by the NHS Leadership Academy in partnership with global experts the Hay Group, to develop knowledge and skills in leadership and management.

Applications are now open for the Mary Seacole Leadership Development Programme, click here to find a cohort near you today. To sign up for the Mary Seacole Programme, click here.

MIAB provides bespoke insurance and expert advice to the healthcare sector, caring for those who care the most. We have created a range of indemnity solutions to make it easier for GP practices, federations and provider companies. These include cover for clinicians trained overseas and clinicians returning to general practice after suffering from non-clinical negligence issues (such as stress, depression or addiction).

Our Locum Insurance is designed to cover the cost of hiring a Locum to fill GP absences or extra hours worked by existing team members. It has been designed to ‘top-up’ NHS Sickness Reimbursement, as well as offer cover for non-sickness related absences.

Find out more about how our indemnity cover and Locum Insurance can help.

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