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Sarah Cousins Primary Care Contributor

Sarah is a Management Consultant providing support to the NHS, having worked in the NHS in primary care for over 25 years, both as a commissioner and as a front-line provider.

She began her career as a Practice and Fundholding Manager in a first wave Fundholding Practice. In 1999, as Fundholding came to an end, she moved into commissioning, with responsibility for developing and commissioning primary, community and mental health services. She remained in that role until 2004 when she made the decision to move back to the coal face and returned to Practice Management in a 14,000 patient, forward-thinking and progressive first wave PMS Plus Practice.

During Sarah’s 12 years at the practice, the town was one of the Department of Health’s Integrated Care Organisation Pilot sites. As part of this, she had the opportunity to lead work in a truly integrated way across primary and community care and see the positive impact that this had on patient care and outcomes, as well as the better and more efficient use of scarce resource.

Sarah has also been a Director of a GP Federation, and through that role-played a key part in developing the successful application to become one of 15 Rapid Test Sites for Primary Care Home , a multi-speciality community provider model of care and the model upon which Primary Care Networks are based.

Sarah has always enjoyed participating in and delivering training. She worked with the then Northern Deanery to write and deliver a training manual to Practice Managers working in GP Training Practices. She has also had a regular slot on a local GP Vocational Training Scheme, where she had the opportunity to impart her wisdom on the business side of general practice to GP Registrars.

Sarah is innovative, financially astute and has excellent interpersonal skills. She understands the importance of getting to know people and what motivates them and this then helps her to get the best out of those she works with; managing change and resolving conflict and challenge. She is passionate about primary care and its importance in delivering high-quality care and outcomes to patients.

Since becoming a management consultant Sarah has continued to work at the sharp end of primary care service delivery, doing such as supporting practices to work at scale and develop back-office function, support Primary Care Networks, primary care project assurance work, and delivering turn around and change management to practices struggling with the demands placed on them.

She has also been involved in developing and delivering an online training package for pharmaceutical companies, aimed at keeping those companies abreast of changes and developments within the NHS, alongside the practical application of the training, which includes live examples from customers and clients.

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