The current problems and looming crisis in the GP workforce is not news to anybody working in the sector. It is tempting to think that the work that Xytal does is “fiddling whilst Rome burns” but I am grateful to a GP who after listening to a presentation on our productivity programme said, “Oh I see, you are only trying to make things better not fix the whole National Health Service”. So true.
I also frequently quote another of our colleagues from Bristol who at a good learning day stood up and said “when I first heard you talk about this I thought it was management BS, but it really works”. So is there anything in this management BS that could help with recruitment and retention, particularly of GP partners?
We all know colleagues who are referred to as “demotivated” and we all know what we mean, but the psychologists have more of a definition of this. What I find helpful is very old (1964) and published by Vroom, is known as “Expectancy theory”.
We all know that general practitioners’ pay (extrinsic reward) has dropped and we all know that the intrinsic rewards (the thank you’s) have dropped. It didn’t take long to go from clapping to cursing. I am thinking more about the “effort leads to performance”. What I mean here is “if I go through the effort and risk becoming a partner is it likely that I will be in a better or worse place?”. Many of us have heard this very question from young doctors.
Typical of natural scientists the very question constrains us into a binary yes/no answer. The only correct answer is “it depends”. Of course, it depends on many many factors but the one that we are working on here at Xytal is the young doctor themselves. Will the new Dr be confident in their new role and a good fit for their new role?
They will be confident if they believe that they have the competencies and capacities to thrive in their new role. They will be the product of a clinical training programme that ensures that they have competencies and capabilities to respond to those who are or who feel themselves unwell but many will get this stage of their careers without ever thinking about, let alone mastering, the managerial skills that come with partnership. With the rise and rise of the practice and business manager, clinical partners do not need to become managers but they do need to behave in a managerial way.
We designed the New to Partnership Programme after talking with established clinical partners, newly appointed clinical partners and practice manager partners so that graduates from our program possess the very competencies and capacities to ensure they thrive and stay working within general practice.