The BMA’s ongoing Learning and Development team held two webinars that covered the vital areas of quality improvement for PCNs and the journey of a clinical director.
We began by defining Quality improvement (QI) and discussing its importance in general practice. We talked about system enablers and what can be done at the PCN level. We also learnt about internal and external factors that impact and encourage the right culture for QI to be successful.
Although there are many commonly used tools, we know that many are based on the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle (see slide below). We did, however, cover, an additional tool that can be used for both small and large QI projects; Process mapping. This activity will help the project team to identify the problems that exist within complex pathways. This should be a team exercise and ideally should involve your patients too. Dr Sian Howell, from Healthy London Partnership, talked about how to start mapping using the example of repeat prescribing.
- Decide an area to improve e.g. Repeat prescribing
- Put one colour post-it note onto a board per each identified step in the process from start (patients requests a medication) to finish (patients receives medication)
- Use another colour post-it note to identify problem points, or waste points in this process for e.g. the use of faxes
- You may then want to seek out other data to supplement this ‘diagnostic’ e.g. your typical repeat prescription duration compared to other practices and networks
This creates a shared clarity of your current process and can identify a helpful area to change. If done thoroughly, the exercise helps narrow your focus and enrolls the team in your program of change.
The journey of a clinical director
Our fifth webinar looked at sharing experiences and best practices for clinical directors. BMA trainer Susan Edwards was joined by Sarit Ghosh – Clinical Director at Enfield Unity PCN – one of the largest PCNs in the country with 160,000 patients.
Sarit talked about his journey as a Clinical Director and shared his tips and thoughts on how to set up a governance structure. He also talked about the challenges of creating a super-partnership, and how he found the recruitment process for the additional roles.
Attendees also learned what a typical working week looks like for a Clinical Director and how to fit everything in.
Delegates could also find out what was really important to get right and why and what Clinical Directors should focus on in terms of their professional development.
There is still time to book a place on the Learning and Development course, please sign up here.