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Be Inspired – Take time out to motivate and establish good practice!
This week I am attending a local Practice Managers conference. Whilst initially I had the usual thought that I really couldn’t afford the time to take two days out of the Practice I reminded myself how beneficial these events can be. Partly because of essential networking with colleagues but mainly because of the inspiring and thought provoking speakers and what pearls of wisdom they can offer to make my working life better.
Don’t look back
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Don’t look back’, focusing on looking at the way forward and dealing with what lies ahead. We’ve had so many changes in the NHS over the last decade in particular, but issues such as the Five year forward view, managing access, future models and funding arrangements for primary care federations, and of course CQC inspections can very often make Practice management a very daunting and lonely place to be. We need some help, guidance and support on how to get out of a rut, deal with the challenges and opportunities and not spend too much “hippo time – wallowing” – Paul McGee (SUMO).
Dr Phil Hammond, the popular broadcaster, speaker, comedian and NHS doctor is our Chair for both days and his message this year is a simple one – “love yourself”. His entertaining and informative message focuses on how we can fix the NHS by taking responsibility for our own wellbeing. Dr Phil illustrates his point using ‘CLANGERS’ as an acronym to encourage people to live a healthy life:
- Connect with people and don’t live in isolation to others;
- Learn new things and continually challenge yourself;
- Notice the world around you and savour the moment;
- Give Back, do something nice for someone, smile, volunteer;
- Eat well;
- Relax, take time out to chill;
- Sleep, getting 6-8 hours of good quality sleep is fundamental.
He believes “Every day you don’t need to use the NHS, someone else benefits”. He also believes that “collaboration should embrace challenge, it’s not about being a yes person”.
Face your FEAR
On day one we had a presentation from one of the most inspirational speakers I’ve ever heard. Miles Hilton-Barber is a blind adventurer and international motivational speaker who believes “the only limits in your life are those you accept yourself”. He explained that the biggest fences we have to overcome are the ones we have created in our heads and that ‘FEAR’ is False Evidence Appearing Real. Miles really connected with the whole audience when he spoke about the work that we do and how important it is, but that it’s just as important to reduce the stress levels in order to achieve our targets and goals. It’s true that we worry about things that don’t even happen and some of these thoughts are wrong and damaging. He said “It’s not the cards you are dealt with, it’s how you play them”.
Day two of the conference focuses on GP Practices in the 21st Century, the GP Federation – the digital age and crisis management – and the role of practice management. There’s also a break out session with one of the CQC inspectors on ‘What makes outstanding’ so I’ll see what top tips I can pick up and I’m sure that will be the subject of my next blog. I really feel it’s important to take time out occasionally to attend conferences like this to be inspired and motivated, particularly since another speaker Virginia Patania, who is a managing partner at the Jubilee Street Practice in East London, gave a fabulous presentation on innovation and problem solving to establish good practice.
Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor