Bespoke Practice Support

Sometimes a practice would like to make changes, develop or introduce new services or has specific or practice wide challenges but aren’t sure where to start. Our bespoke practice support programme recognises that there isn’t a one-size fits all model for all practices or projects and our very first task is to LISTEN. So if you would like to help but aren’t sure exactly what you need, we offer a free consultation appointment to explore your needs and then provide an outline of how we can help with a costed plan. We work with a range of partners in conjunction with practices as well as free signposting if we can’t for any reason help directly. You will be assigned a dedicated change facilitator who will work with you providing advice and guidance including an actionable plan to move forward with and when needed complete a practice health check.

This service is available to all Derby City and Derbyshire practices (both levy and non-levy) on a self-referral basis and is an addition to but conjunction where relevant with LMC services we already offer. Previous work has included workforce development, system and process analysis, practice mergers, team development, project advice, team facilitation and much more spanning over 50+ initiatives.

We continue to support practices throughout the county to not just survive but thrive.


“One of the key successes to GPTF programmes is our ability to be responsive to our practices and practice teams, working alongside them to identify their needs and providing relevant, high quality support”

“I just want to say a huge thank you to all members of the GPTF team – your support is really appreciated.
On a personal development level, the GPTF Project management training, the coaching/mentoring programmes and at practice level, the GPTF professional sustainability” Derbyshire Practice Manager

One of our Project Team will be happy to have a confidential chat to discuss your needs and how we can help.

Case Studies

Case Study: Practice Team Development

GPTF Resilience Programme

Change Session

The facilitators were Darren Kehoe, Kraft HR and Heidi Scott-Smith, GPTF Change Facilitator and qualified Coach. Darren led the nurse team session and Heidi led a later session for admin staff. The Nurse session focused on the key questions to explore;

  • Presentation on team culture
  • Understand ‘what good looks like?’
  • Overview of key ‘Team’ Principles
  • Diagnose Team Issues – Team Development Survey / Initial Feedback
  • Discuss Issues
  • Identify areas for positive improvement
  • Draft a plan

Following an open and frank discussion with the Nurse team and exploring any “elephants in the room”, key discussion themes included;

  • Unfairness of sharing unsociable hours
  • Communication amongst the team & practice staff
  • Non-clinical staff making clinical decisions
  • Divides within the team
  • Acceptance of change
  • Segregation and closed meetings / late to start clinics
  • Lack of positive feedback
  • Management comms
Change Impact and Benefit

Following the Nurse development session, the practice received an action plan with 13 recommendations to its teams and management for positive change for the practice. Due to the success of the Nurse session, the practice also requested a similar development session for their administration and non-clinical staff.

The practice are currently working through the action plan to further improve communication and team cohesion and all are positive in their ambition to maintain a great place to work delivering excellent patient care.

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GPTF is commissioned by Derby and Derbyshire CCG and funded via GPFV monies to provide practice support.

Case Study: The Vernon & The Lanes Medical Centres

GPTF Resilience Programme

Practice Profile

The Vernon and The Lanes Medical Centres has a main site based in Derby City Centre and a branch site in Littleover with a registered patient population across both sites of just under 10,000. The practice received a ‘Good’ rating at their last inspection in 2016.

Change Intervention

The practice approached GPTF to explore the potential introduction of the GP Consultant Model following a presentation at the LMC annual conference. The practice had already embraced multi skilled and multi-disciplined roles and wanted to enhance their patient offer to fully utilise the skills and knowledge of their clinical team more effectively

Change Journey

The facilitators were Richard Page, Managing Partner and Dr James Burns, GP Partner, both from West Hallam Medical Centre. Richard and James were keen to support the practice sharing their knowledge and lessons learned regarding their own practice transformation and development of the West Hallam GP Consultant Model also co-designed by Dr Gail Allsopp.

The key objectives for Vernon Street and the Lanes Medical Centre were to;

  • Review current appointment structures of all clinical points of contact
  • Review GP activity and establish more appropriate personnel to execute task where possible to release time
  • Explore GP Consultant role
  • Explore clinical team make up

Following a couple of succession of facilitated discussions with the Partners and Management, Richard and James were able to support the practice to explore the make up of their workforce and how roles could be more fully utilised. Vernon Street also wanted to pursue the employment of a Clinical Pharmacist to their team and the facilitators were able to support the role design and induct the new recruit at West Hallam spending time with the GP, ACP and Clinical Pharmacist staff.

Change Impact and Benefit

The practice has taken the initiative to embed the learning from the West Hallam model and made significant changes to improve the way they deliver patient services. The top impacts and benefits achieved by the practice from the support are highlighted as;

  • More efficient use of clinical resource following practice restructure
  • Standardised process bringing better efficiency for appointment triage
  • Successful recruitment and induction of Clinical Pharmacist
  • Better supported Practice Manager
Practice Feedback

 GPTF provided must needed clarity support and structured timeout to focus on the Practice structure…. without GPTF, the restructure would still be on my to do list!

Karen Lloyd, Practice Manager, The Vernon & The Lanes Medical Centres

Case Study: GP Practice Partnership, Managerial and Workforce Challenges

GPTF Resilience Programme

Change Intervention

Working alongside an anonymous practice to support them through key partnership and managerial changes which left the practice with significant workforce shortages at a time of high patient demand.

Our objectives were to work with the Partners and Management to increase clinical capacity, explore recruitment needs and observe their day to day administration operations to identify areas for improvement.

Change Journey

Sandy Tomlinson, GPTF Change Facilitator and the GPTF team have delivered a number of facilitation and coaching sessions with the practice team. A summary of our activities to date are;

  • Coordination of a locum GP to cover regular sessions via Derbyshire Medical Chambers to increase clinical capacity at the practice
  • Recruitment and induction support for a new Practice manager
  • Support for HR processes including team performance and appraisal and signposted to external HR support
  • Support to explore alternative finance systems and processes including finance and claims resource pack, purchasing policy and financial delegation
  • Support provided to review administration team’s role, function and job descriptions
  • Identified improvements for patient Care Navigation within the reception team
  • Supporting the practice to acknowledge the tremendous amount of change from the last 12 months with a planned team building day
  • Observations and recommendations in regard to reception and waiting areas and staffing
  • IT training on searches
Change Impact and Benefit

The practice has worked incredibly hard and with our support to achieve the following;

  • Successful recruitment of a Practice Manager who is gaining confidence in leading the practice team
  • Successful transition of a locum to Salaried GP
  • Enabled the surgery to work more effectively as a team
  • Organisational structure with nominated leads is becoming more established
  • Company polices updated and communicated with the team
  • Structured system now in place for claims
  • IT system training coordinated to included summarising, coding and scanning
  • Practice accounts transferred to computerised software
  • Practice has greater engagement with PCN network
Next Steps

There is further work planned with the practice as agreed in the following areas;

  • Further support for team development and structure embedding positives
  • Care navigation/ Receptionist Toolkit training
  • Support management with staff appraisals
  • Support with embedding practice finance package
  • Practice correspondence and workflow
Practice Feedback

“The support has enabled the surgery to work more effectively as a team, share ideas and help to improve the structure of the surgery. There has been great feedback provided to myself and the partners to enable us to move forward. Our GPTF change facilitators have both been great.

I would most definitely recommend GPTF to other practice teams.”

Practice Manager

Change Facilitator Profile

Sandy Tomlinson

Sandy is an experienced Practice Business Manager with a multitude of skills including team and leadership skills, HR and personnel management, service development and strategic management. She is also a trained mediator who can assist with varying levels of mediation. Sandy has worked with GPTF since 2019 and has a strong work ethic.

Her business and practice knowledge as well as her ability to unpick the root cause of issues accompanied with her empathetic skills make her an excellent member of the GPTF family.

How do I get support for my Practice?

Call 01332 210008 speak to the GPTF team or visit our website to find out ways in which we can help Practice teams across Derbyshire.

Logo for the NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG

GPTF is commissioned by Derby and Derbyshire CCG and funded via GPFV monies to provide practice support.

Get in touch

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