Sep 20, 2016
Our programme to equip a group of primary care professionals in Lambeth and Southwark with leadership skills has helped to deliver better ways to care for people across the two boroughs, says a new independent evaluation.
With 90% of all patient contacts in the NHS taking place in general practice, primary care plays a fundamental role in keeping people well and cared for. We funded the Lambeth and Southwark Primary Care Development programme with a £1.2 million grant to increase the leadership skills and confidence of a group of GPs and practice managers.
The new evaluation has found that the programme, run in partnership by the two local NHS CCGs, not only created a cohort of new local leaders but it also enabled the successful development of five GP federations in the two London boroughs.
The new federations have brought practices together to improve access and outcomes for patients and to explore new ways of delivering care such as care navigation and holistic assessments for people with complex needs.
The report, by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services, highlights the programme’s significant outcomes including the formation of strong GP federations, better engagement of general practice in the integration of the wider healthcare system and the successful delivery of seven-day primary care access in the two boroughs. When comparing it to the situation before the programme, the report concludes that now ‘general practice has a voice, it can present itself as a participant in discussions with other participants in the health care system.
The two-year programme included leadership workshops; masterclasses; visioning summits; group and one-to-one coaching, as well as opportunities to apply learning in practice. Funding allowed participants to develop whilst being released from their ‘day to day’ practice roles.
A total of 26 GPs and practice managers volunteered to take on a challenging and intensive process of leadership development. Participants found new skills and uncovered hidden qualities to lead practices in their local areas through a process of significant change.
The programme has created the collective leadership capacity to ensure that general practice is able to contribute confidently to the development of new ways of working alongside other partners within the local care system.
“The best things about the programme were meeting other people working in primary care in Lambeth and Southwark, having space to think about our frustrations and to be able to think more creatively about how to solve them, and working through these issues with people with different experiences.“ said Dr Lauren Parry, a participating GP and director of IHL, the South Southwark GP federation.
Our Chief Executive, Kieron Boyle, said: “We are delighted to have supported this group of talented GPs and practice managers to develop their leadership skills. This has already led to more joined-up general practice and looks set to drive system-wide change in the future.”